Re:I really hoped I would get opinions from 'both sides' of the sugar issue
I have to admit, I find comments like this on a whole-life unschooling list baffling. In terms of finding ways to support the natural learning process in partnership with young children, there isn't a "sugar issue" at all. It’s a control issue - how much control do I "need" to hang onto.
That's a hard one, because we're bombarded with parenting messages about control - Laura, you seem like you're being bombarded from all sides! That's stressful, and the most natural thing in the world, under stress, is to find a way to feel in control. Its a mega-whammy and it can feel like a lose-lose.
Shifting your thinking away from control is the core of deschooling for parents. It is not possible to control what another person learns. Not about math. Not about food. Not about technology. Not about anything in the whole world. Learning is always and forever the purview of the person doing the learning.
Unschooling is about learning. Its amazing to me how often people are startled by that statement. Learning is about the flow of ideas, about connections. If there are differences of perspective, let them be about learning – what helps ideas flow freely? What helps people make connections be to care and joy?
This is Exactly where sooooooo many parents get hung up - its the same issue with television, with games, with clothes, with money, with sleep with courtesy and responsibility. The “sides” are always the same: that parents "have to" retain a certain amount of control over the situation rather than parents Adapting to the specific needs of each individual family member to better walk at that person’s side in partnership and so support the flow of natural learning. It’s a lot of work to adapt in that way... at first. Once you get the hang of adapting it’s no more work than any other kind of parenting. Once you get the hang of it, it’s less stressful, too. Unfortunately, the transition can be too rough for a loooooot of people. I don't want to down-play that. Not every family can adapt to whole-life unschooling. It takes a lot of deschooling for parents and that can be overwhelming when children are young.
No one has to unschool. That's not a dismissive statement, it’s a gift. No one ever ever ever has to unschool. It is a choice – an ongoing choice to support natural learning as a partner rather than trying to manage it for someone else.