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I’m a parent of a 3 yr old boy and we’re very intentionally relaxed in our parenting. I’m a big fan of home education (I was home ed myself for a time as a teenager) and more specifically “unschooling.” I’ve found that I’m unusual because most parents don’t identify as “home ed-ers” unit their children reach school-age. But knowing that’s the route we’re taking means that I’m already encouraging his natural love of learning and trying not to get in the way of it as much as possible – either through disrupting him, quizzing him, forcing something upon him or preventing him from attempting something that he is ready to try.
I want him to find his own way, struggle with problems and discover solutions for himself both physically and mentally. Obviously, we don’t leave him to struggle beyond his own level of tolerance. We’re never far away when he gets frustrated and needs our help. But by working things out for himself he learns that he’s able, capable and even unstoppable; he learns to be independent, he learns perseverance, and he discovers his own limits in his own way. We don’t have to be there to solve or do everything for him. And he’s already an amazingly confident and capable boy, physically and mentally. I say this with some perspective. I’ve been a circus teacher for over 20 years and I see him able to do things (physically) that 6 or 7 year olds often struggle with.
The biggest problem is that he’s sometimes confident beyond his capacity. For instance, we taught him how to cross the road very early. So now he stops, looks and crosses but doesn’t always look closely enough for approaching cars! But this is something that we can manage – all we have to do is ask him to stop at the road and he will wait for us.
It often creates a bit of friction between his mum and me. I have a very high tolerance for risk (I’ve taught too many kids trapeze and acrobatics to get scared of injury too easily) so I’ll often want to let him do something that she doesn’t. We work it out though – and that says more about our relationship than about anything else. I also think that that’s a natural difference between mums and dads – two natural protectors, protecting in two different ways.
Thanks for asking.
Thanks dude59 –
I’m not worried about myself or my family. But my mother-in-law (who may come stay with us) is immunocompromised.
I’m wondering what else we can do to prevent our 3-yr-old from being a carrier. There’s no way we could get him to keep a mask on – even if it fit him!