Dr. Phil’s Unschool-Friendly Principles

27 11 2006

As a Thinking Parent and education policy professional, it’s obvious to me (whether Dr. Phil himself can see it or not) that his own core parenting principles are very unschool-friendly. These five principles–from a separate part of his website, not from the unschooling show debate–clearly support sovereign parents and family autonomy, intellectual and academic freedom, mindful unschooling, attachment parenting and child-led learning environments, much more so than they would support any form of compulsory schooling, high-stakes standardized testing, public-government funding, public control of private education and family life, or public regulation of anyone’s political ideas, choices, thoughts, beliefs, relationships and personal power of story.

Especially Number Five – which imo ought to make Dr. Phil an outright Enemy of School! 🙂

Five Core Steps to Good Parenting

Wondering if there is anything else you can do? Dr. Phil outlines five steps that can help bring you and your child closer together:

1. Plug In
Make a conscious decision to plug into your kid’s world. You can’t make assumptions about the critical choices that children have to make today because the world they are living in is different from the one you grew up in.

2. Spread the Word

When you talk to your children you’ve got to spread out your logic so that they can see why you’re saying what you’re saying. Research shows us that the amount of trouble kids get into is inversely proportional to the number of words spoken in the home. What that means is, the less you talk at home, the more trouble they get in outside the home.

3. Talk About Things That Don’t Matter
How do you ever expect to talk to them about things that do matter if you haven’t practiced by talking about things that don’t?

4. Remember, You’re the Parent
Children have lots of friends who tell them what they want to hear. They don’t need you to be another friend. They need you to be an authority figure who lets them know where the boundaries of acceptable behavior are. Trying to be his or her friend will only undermine your authority as a parent and come back to bite you.

5. Allow Them A Sense of Mastery

You have to put your kids in a world where they feel a sense of mastery over their own environment. It’s important that they don’t feel they’re subject to arbitrary guidance or haphazard decisions.



One response

28 11 2006
Dr. Phil Unschooling Show Today « Cocking A Snook!

[…] I’ve been teacher-certified for 30 years, lots of public school experience and a well-used education doctorate. Yet my own kids have been radically unschooled at home with no regrets (theirs or mine.) There is no one best way, and no one should be able to decide for other people’s children, absent real abuse or criminal endangerment. […]

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