"natural mommy" wrote:
>If I could, sometimes I would just veg out and do all my computer tasks and fun for a few days straight
You "can" though - you could decide that leaving out a few boxes of cereal and the tv on constitutes taking care of your kids and do what you want to do. You could put them in school or daycare and forget about them for hours at a time. You're choosing not to do those things, choosing to set aside what you want for other things that you value as much as your desires. It helps to see those behaviors as choices. You're not "stuck" being someone's mom, you are actively choosing to parent because doing that is meaningful to you in some way.
The economics of limits can skew choices in big ways, they can make choices feel like chores vs luxuries. If getting on the computer feels like an escape from “have to” then that’s going to affect your reasoning. My MIL, for instance, spends the day on the computer for her work, so the last thing she wants is to be on email lists or social networks – getting out in her garden feels like a luxury so she’ll spend hours there
>>Fact is,there ARE plenty of kids (and adults) that would spend all day watching t.v, playing vid games or whatever suites their fancy, so when are they taught about balance vs. excess?
Plenty of people do those things who *have* been taught about balance vs excess, though. There are tons of messages in the world about moderation and what one "should" do to be good, be healthy, be productive... yada yada. The trouble is, teaching doesn't "get" people to produce specific behaviors.
A lot of people spend time watching tv or playing games or surfing the web as a way to de-stress, or step back from other parts of their lives that are unpleasant - school or work for the most part. School isn't an issue that unschoolers need to worry about outside of deschooling - but its Very common for kids to spend a lot of time watching tv or playing games while decompressing from schooling. If a family member is needing time to de-stress from work, then other family members can help with that by bringing food and offering companionship so the person isn't having to choose between one value (connection) and another (decompressing).
One of the fascinating aspects of parenting as a partner is getting to see kids choosing to do things for reasons other than “whatever suits their fancy” even though they have the freedom to do exactly that.
>>This topic particularly concerns me since our family is loaded with people who like to go to the side of excess and in an unhealthy way.
It can help to think about what those people have experienced in terms of both limits and support. In conventional parenting a lot of support only happens within a context of limits, so "no limits" looks a lot like "I don't care". But support doesn't have to involve adding more limits to a person's life. Its important to articulate real limits! Drivers unable to see little children is a real limit in a parking lot. Mommy too hungry/tired/hormonal to deal with taking kids to a playground is a real limit. Not enough money for certain foods or toys other things is a real limit. The wonderful part of unschooling though is that limits aren't an end game. They're a chance to find other options.
Mo likes to do things in big chunks - if she's going to play a game, it will be for hours and hours. If she's going to watch a movie, she'll watch it a bunch of times. It doesn't help her to pull her away from what she wants to do - its more helpful to find her ways to "fill up" as it were so that moving on to the next thing feels good and right to her. That can look a lot like "excess" and I could point to others in the family who tend to excess, but I can also point to people with a lot of drive and focus, too - a lot of drive and focus is another kind of excess!
Why one and not four? Why one and not ten? It’s a little ironic, that you’ve picked a fairly extreme limit if your goal is to coax your kids more toward moderation. Why not, instead of a number limit, put the candy up out of the way and say “yes” whenever asked? Those are things to think about.
How sick is sick? That’s something else to think about. Would they get a belly-ache or would they need to be hospitalized? There’s a lot of ground in between those two options, too. Would it be a catastrophe if they ate it all in one day?
How much do you want to emphasize that candy is a luxury item? That’s something else to consider. A whole lot of food issues arise from limiting Because of the economics of limits – limited foods are luxuries so its natural not just to crave them but to binge on them.
It isn’t a horrible thing to eat to excess now and again – arguably, its part of human nature. This spring I discovered a new source of fresh, organic fruit and went a bit overboard on fruit. I made myself a little sick and rebalanced. That’s part of balance, if you think about it – its not some kind of middle of the road stasis, our human bodies and interests often swing wildly in one direction and then swing back to equilibrium. Its unfortunate that we’ve developed a lot of culture pressure saying the extremes are “bad” and the middle is “good” because it skews our ability to see what natural learning looks like. A lot of natural learning involves extremes. Passion is an extreme, and it’s a really common way for people to learn about the world.