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Peaceful Anarchism recently interviewed Dayna Martin. If you’ve never heard of peaceful parenting, unschooling, and natural birth, this is a good place to start learning. I think these are topics that should be much more widely studied and adopted. Many people like Stefan Molyneux put forth the theory that these ideas are in fact key to changing the world. His idea is that if we start raising children differently today – that within a generation or two – the entire world would be a much better place.
Peaceful Parenting and the Non-Aggression Principle
The idea is that when we raise children from a place of authority, with arbitrary rewards and punishments, and flimsy explanations – that is why we then get adults who go on to believe in arbitrary rules and authority, who don’t know how to negotiate with others, and who resort to using (or getting someone else to use) force and coercion to solve big problems.
On the contrary, when we treat babies and children as small adults (rather than subhumans), give them the chance to think and reason, give ourselves and our children the chance to negotiate, and start from the very beginning reaching mutually beneficial arrangements within our families – these children go on to be adults with empathy, reasoning ability, and individual responsibility. When children are young with malleable brains, if we don’t foist our various flavors of indoctrination upon them, they will develop for themselves a natural inclination to learn, and think, and reason.
When children are taught moral contradictions they will go on to be adults with moral contradictions. If a child is told it is wrong to hit on the playground, or that they shouldn’t fight to solve arguments – but then they get hit by their parents, they see their peers getting hit, they see government employees hitting people – they see contradictions everywhere to this basic playground rule. Then, for most people the non-aggression principle will be that much harder to grasp. It states that no person or group should initiate the use of force against another. But, if as children, the adults learned that there are no moral absolutes – that my parents might say “don’t hit billy if he didn’t hit you first” – they’ll learn it doesn’t really mean much because everyone is using force and violence, including the parents, teachers, and government (the authority figures), so the adult goes on to accept arbitrary authority, to wield it, to fund it, and to raise their kids in the same way.
In the traditional method of raising children (and unfortunately organizing society) the threat of punishment is the dominating means of enforcing desired behavior. People learn that they should only do right because they don’t want to be caught, or punished, ostracized, or sent to hell. Ideally people should be raised to reason, think, and do right because it is right; or to seek the good because it is good – without any external force artificially swaying the decision.
Unschooling is the concept that learning does not have to be done through a structured, subject-divided environment. These sorts of homeschool parents work hard to create an environment where the child can develop their own minds naturally, through discovering what they’re interested in and putting it into action. Children get to do what is important to them, while in a roundabout way still learning about language, math, science, and the other “subjects”. It is a way of learning, not based on classes, tests, grades, and scores – but on actually learning, and encouraging intelligence and creativity to bloom in ways unique to each child.
See the video and the links below for much more on these and other topics. If you would like to share additional resources for those wishing to learn more about these topics, leave them in a comment below, or on the Facebook page.
- Dayna Martin
- School Sucks Project: Podcast, Youtube, and Website
- 10 Myths about Unschooling
- Peaceful Parenting Video Series
- Dayna Martin and Stefan Molyneux
- The Bomb in the Brain
- The Truth About Schools
- The Absurdity of Public Education
- Discussion on Voluntaryism, Peaceful Parenting, and Unschooling
- What is Peaceful Parenting?
- What is Unschooling?
- What is Attachment Parenting?
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