Trusting our Children

Trusting our children is the opposite of controlling our children. Trusting our children is enabling them and empowering them. Providing them with a safe place that they can try out their ideas and practice making decisions.

For example:

  • We trust them to make decisions about how they want to spend their day: what they want to play, what they want to explore, how they engage with the world around them, when they want to do something and for how long.
  • We trust them to make decisions about their own bodies: when they are hungry and how much they want to eat, when they are thirsty and what they want to drink, when they need to rest or sleep, what they feel comfortable wearing and how they want to wear their hair.
  • Trusting them to make decisions about their interaction with others: who they want to play with or be with, when they want to play with others and when they want to be on their own, who they connect with and how they connect with them, when they want to share their toys.
  • And other things too, what pictures they want on their bedroom walls, what type of headphones they like to use, what films they like to watch and books they like to read, what music they enjoy listening to, when they want to part with their toys, what they would like to spend their money on, how long they want to spend at the beach/park/woods/museum, whether they want to go out at all and many other decisions about their own lives.

In trusting them and enabling them to have power over their own lives we consistently give them opportunities to practice decision making and we give them the message that their voice matters and that their opinions are valid. They will feel able to try new things and to make mistakes and learn from their successes and failures, constantly drawing on their own knowledge to inform each new choice. Each new decision provides an opportunity for our children to make a better choice and we give them the freedom to make those decisions.

The philosophy of unschooling is at its basis, a trusting of children in all ways.

Ally Grace Respectfully Connected

Read more:

Listening to my children say ‘no’

Why we should trust our children

Saying ‘yes’ to our children

Published by heiditsteel

Teacher turned Unschooler: passionate about autonomous education and supporting our children's natural inclination towards learning through play.

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