I read Hold Onto Your Kids a few months back and I now realise how much of the ideas in the book place a strong foundation on how I think about our unschooling life.
I honestly wish I had read the book when I started out home educating. It would have given me the confidence to do more things with my family rather than worrying so much about the social and societal pressure to do things that just didn’t feel right.
The premises behind the book is how, in the standard modern way of life these days, kids get attached to their peers, aka ‘peer attachment’, because they are constantly around them. The author claims that kids cannot attach to parents and peers at the same time, so they usually end up attaching to their peers which has some not so great consequences.
The biggest problem is that kids can’t give other kids what they need, they are not able or mature enough the provide the basic human needs to other friends. Parents, family, mentors are people who children should seek to maintain longterm relationships with, as adults are more capable of providing the nurture, trust and relationships that children need.
Society is now structured with an obsession for children to be around other children almost constantly. We are made to feel abnormal if we do not pursue this path. And the reality is that this is a very new thing, something that has been increasing from around the 1950s.
We seem to have forgotten that it is completely normal to grow up in a family and community focused environment. To the extent that people genuinely can’t wrap their head around the idea of being together as a family and rejecting the concept of school.
This concept of living life with a focus on family first, just feels so right. It doesn’t mean it is easy. We have so many things that we need to rediscover and relearn. On top of that, we have to content with the modern world, trying to pressure and entice us into things that we don’t really want whilst also trying to figure out how to manage and balance all of our obligations.
I’m holding on to my kids with pride.