Articles about Listening

What to do when your husband is freaking out about unschooling.

A partner who is freaking out is something that many home educating parents (mostly mums) face. It’s something I faced too; not just once, but many times during our 15 year unschooling journey with our two sons. There is no doubt that unschooling or self-directed learning is still considered a very unconventional, even a radical path, so it’s bound to raise some fears and concerns, not just with husbands but often with members of our extended families too.

How did it come to this?

Home educating our sons was was my idea (my sons idea, really) when my eldest was just 4 years old. I’d had the benefit of meeting other homeschooling families, seeing their children learning at home and together in groups and being able to ask the parents lots and lots of questions. My husband hadn’t had those experiences and the whole idea was completely “out of the blue” for him. Added to that, we had both been educated up to our eyeballs in the school and university system and were both then working as university lecturers. It was understandable that he had some fears about stepping away from those institutions and that familiar approach to education. Frankly, so did I.

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How do I stop yelling at my child?

What happens in your home when your child gets upset, angry or lashes out? Or they make a huge mess or fight with their sibling?

Do you sometimes notice yourself speaking to your children in the same way that you were spoken to as a child?

Do you find yourself blaming, threatening or yelling at them, even though you vowed that you weren’t going to do that?

Sometimes we get triggered and a reaction just bursts out of us. We say and do things to our child that we regret.

Does this happen to you? Would you like to reduce the yelling?

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Just listen – even though it’s hard.

We are obsessed with trying to fix problems. Especially with our children.

Have you noticed that when your child gets upset or scared that you leap in with advice or try and fix their problem? 

Have you noticed that when YOU are upset or scared that you dislike it when someone tries to fix you?

I’m keenly aware that I would much rather someone just listen to me. When I can speak freely about my fears, anger or frustrations without someone trying to fix me it’s a precious gift. There is something very special about getting our private and troubling thoughts out in the open with someone who can simply hold the space and listen without reacting. 

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HOW TO STAY CALM WHEN YOUR CHILD HAS AN ANGRY MELTDOWN.

There are few things more challenging than angry meltdowns.

I’m talking about an explosion of intense emotion that may include hitting, swearing and screaming. If your child has angry meltdowns, you may find yourself reacting and becoming very angry yourself.

I know what its like. I’ve been there. I have two sons and they both went through periods when they experienced explosive anger.

From the start, I was clear that I didn’t want to punish them. I didn’t want to inflict emotional pain to try and “teach them a lesson.”

I also didn’t want to shame them or tell them that they were bad or wrong for getting angry. I knew that would make them feel even worse and it wouldn’t help them become calm.

So what was left to try? I wanted a new, peaceful approach to dealing with angry meltdowns.

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