Unparenting: Parents Raising Kids Without Rules?

The unparenting style seems like parents are saying FU to the Tiger Mom. Letting your kids do whatever they want is so extreme to me that I was almost speechless when I read about it.

There are parents who believe that they should not tell their kids what to do. According to a story in Friday magazine, Dayna & Joe Martin are raising their children with no rules. Raising kids without rules seems like an oxymoron, because if you are raising your kids there are rules and boundaries. They take the term "hippie" to a whole new level.

The kids are 13, 11, 7 and 4 years old. Their children have no rules. When I say no rules, I mean no rules. These kids don't have to attend school and they are not home schooled. If they want to learn something, they can choose to pick up a book. They can eat whatever and whenever they want. There are no chores and no punishments. The mother has said “The kids come and go as they please, because who am I to tell them when they have to go to bed?” Umm, you are their parent!

There are so many things that can be said about this story. My brain is overwhelmed. The article states:

The Martins’ unusual approach to parenting is perfectly legal in New Hampshire, US, where they live. Dayna started following it when Devin was born in 1999.
“At school, Joe and I hated being told what we had to study and resented not being able to concentrate on things we were interested  in. I was depressed and rebelled.
“My grades suffered as I simply wasn’t interested in what I was being forced to learn. My parents were frustrated, but when they understood why I was behaving the way I was, they were totally behind me. I graduated high school, unlike Joe who dropped out three months before he was due to graduate."

First of all, I was unaware that there was a state in this country that allowed parents to opt out of providing their children with an education. Second, these parents seemed like a couple of spoiled brats when they were younger. What kid has been totally happy and on board with what they were being forced to learn in school. Parents, the next time your kid comes home and says "I hate math", just tell him that he doesn't have to learn math anymore. Let me know how that will go over with your child's school.

The mother says that her kids are just as smart as other kids their age. I was wondering how she knew that because they don't go to school, but later in the article she says that they are friends with other families that have the same life style. So basically, they have no clue whether or not their kids are actually smart because they hang out with other kids who don't go to school and are not home schooled.

This is such a disservice to these children. Part of being a parent means that you provide, guidance, boundaries and discipline. If these kids ever decide to leave their parent's home, they will not be prepared to function in the real world because they won't know boundaries. How will they keep a job if they think that they can do whatever they want? These children are being raised, groomed or allowed to live a life of entitlement. They can do whatever they want without consequences. I think that's a recipe for disaster.

What would your household be like if you went to a no rules, no school policy today?


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