Father’s Day… and Unschooling
With Father’s Day around the corner, as Unschooling Mom2Mom, I thought we could give a nod to the dads. I know, all these manufactured greeting card holidays! And lots of unschooling families are single mom families - or all kinds of family configurations. So I don’t presume that everyone’s family looks alike.
And even in our family, my husband really didn’t like Father’s Day and the hoopla that went around it. He bought what he wanted for himself and didn’t need the kids or me to do it. It felt forced. And maybe his Love Language was not Gifts!
But some unschooling dads are the primary Unschooling parent - and that’s a very cool dynamic - To have dads actively involved in the day to day connections is great.
Some unschooling dads provide their support by going off to work and making sure there’s funding for the activities and supplies kids need to keep exploring and following curiosities.
Some dads wouldn’t really want to consider themselves “unschooling dads” - they’re not onboard …yet. They still have a lot of fears about this unschooling approach and haven’t devoted a lot of time to unpacking all of that.
I did a podcast last year, #13 When Dad’s Not Onboard with Unschooling. If this is the scenario at your house, you may want to pop over to that podcast when this is done.
I included some specific things you could do to help the dad in your world feel more connected and overcome their fears. Because that’s what it’s usually all about, right? Being afraid they’re not going to “be successful” in life down the road. And, of course, everyone defines successful differently.
Or maybe they just haven’t given a lot of thought to this idea that society has moved away from the factory-style worker approach - and schools are still stuck in that framework. I think I mentioned this book last time, but I want to mention it again - it was a major eye-opener for one of the dads in my private membership group: Most Likely to Succeed - Preparing our Kids for the Innovation Era.
If we can help dads feel more connected, they’ll SEE that the kids are learning all sorts of things. That may be the role unschooling moms have to take for a little while. Identifying and suggesting activities that would help the dads and kids connect more - and making time for that to happen. It doesn’t have to be some all-day hike. Maybe it’s a game night. Or use those conversation cards I created - that could help give dad a little insight into how the kids are thinking
Sometimes dads don’t need us to swoop in and fix things - so many of us have a habit of doing this! But maybe we can give them time to find their way too. And maybe they’ll find something to connect on that we never even considered.
Talking about connection, communication and playing together might be useful. Just to bring it to the front of dad’s mind. Remind them that kids learn through play - and seeing that in action may help them understand what the next steps might be for connecting.
Just as we listen to our kids to see where we can help - that’s probably good to do with dads too. Don’t make the presumption that you know what’s going on in his head. Ask. Listen to the answer. Maybe you had that fear once too.
If you’d like to dive deeper in how to do this or ways other unschooling parents have connected when one is “into unschooling,” and the other isn’t yet, join us in the membership group. We can do that together - helping you brainstorm and maybe helping you see where the issue actually is.
I have a few great Dad memes - so I’ll put them below.
I’ve been including them at Instagram and Facebook.
And I’ll link to other articles about dads and unschooling - including one from my own husband. He didn’t actually WRITE it, but he dictated it to me. Our kids were nearly grown at the time and he listed all cool things he got to do with the kids that would never have happened if he had insisted on sending them to school. The essay was included in Skyler Collin’s book, Unschooling Dads - if you’d like to hear other dad perspectives!
Happy Father’s Day
...to all the dads out there supporting us and helping our kids have awesome childhoods!
And I’ll be back next week to talk with you all again!