Radical Unschooling

#100 Days of Home Ed…Day 27

Aftre covering most of the PDA Society list of strategies for your child with Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA), yesterday we began my personal list of them with…

Know they child.

Today we continue in that vane with…

R-E-S-P-E-C-T!

And I am not talking about it in traditional terms where we DEMAND that children respect their elders…whether they deserve it or not.

No, I am speaking of R-E-S-P-E-C-T in terms of a two-way street…and something that you as the adult must earn.

Shocking concept, I know.

But it goes back to that traditional view point that children are blank slates…that we must program them…that they are ours to do with as we like.

Not little human beings!

But that is exactly what they are…little people with needs, wants and minds of their own. Yet most parents and adults believe that just because we are older and bigger ours are more important than the child’s.

One key characteristic of PDA is that our children have no awareness of social roles. In other words…they don’t buy into the bull that adults know more and deserve respect simply because they are bigger and have lived longer. Our children see themselves as our equals…with the same rights and privileges.

When I see this one bandied about it is always with some negative connotation…as if we must teach children their places. I don’t buy that one anymore than PanKwake does.

In #HomeCrazzyHome, PanKwake has as much rights as Cookie Monster and I do. She is just as much a person as we are.

We RESPECT her as a person and an individual. She is of equal importance in our home.

In fact, I have joked for years that she is…Her Royal Highness. And treated her like it too.

Some would accuse me of ‘spoiling’ her.

But you see from my perspective this technique is nothing more than the Attachment Parenting espoused by Dr William Sears…

Attachment parenting is a style of caring for your infant that brings out the best in the baby and the best in the parents. Attachment parenting implies first opening your mind and heart to the individual needs of your baby, and eventually you will develop the wisdom on how to make on-the-spot decisions on what works best for both you and your baby.

A close attachment after birth and beyond allows the natural, biological attachment-promoting behaviors of the infant and the intuitive, biological, caregiving qualities of the mother to come together. Both members of this biological pair get off to the right start at a time when the infant is most needy and the mother is most ready to nurture. Bonding is a series of steps in your lifelong growing together with your child.

It is just that with my PDA child she moves through the stages of development and maturity at a different pace and others.

In some ways, PanKwake is forty going on four. 

So it is challenging to find ways of respecting her needs, wants and individuality while at the same time gently guiding her in right direction. At times it seems more like the running of the bulls in Pamplona.

The thing is that…

When you give respect…in the end…you get it too!

We are just beginning after five years to see the fruits of my labors. PanKwake apologizes. She considers your feelings. Even if more often than not hers still takes precedence…she will though logically explain to you why…or comically. Such as, ‘That’s what you get for having a kid.’

I know that others may think that these are things that can or ought to be forced…that magic word…demanded…of children. But that only gets you so far even with ‘neurotypical’ children…and nowhere with a child who has PDA, except maybe a meltdown.

This is instead a type of parenting where you model the behaviors that you want in your child. If you want respect, then you give it. If you want them to apologize when they do something wrong, then you apologize to them. If you want them to think of others, then you show that you are thoughtfully considering their feelings too.

I’ll be honest…this is MUCH harder and takes way longer to see the results than just demanding obedience. But I believe it is what every child deserves….PDA or neurotypical. Of course, with Pathological Demand Avoidance it may be the only way that you will get the result you desire.

I am going to stop for now…before I carry on into tomorrow’s related topic…

Trust.

 

 

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