Help is on the Way

Life has been pretty stressful lately. We decided not very long ago to move interstate, because we need to move out of our house anyway, and because it would be nice to spend some time living closer to Geoff’s side of the family for a bit, particularly since his Dad had a major heart attack awhile back and hasn’t been all that well. It will also be nice to have a break from the draconian and onerous homeschooling laws in our State. Oh, there’s also the fact that my sister-in-law lives in the city we’ll be moving to, and she also homeschools her kids and, well, it would be pretty cool for unschooling cousins to live near each other I reckon. 🙂 We think they’re pretty great people, too, and have really missed them since they moved away.

All that to say, it’s been a bit wild, crazy and stressful around here, particularly since Geoff now has a job at the new location , and we therefore have a definite, locked-in moving date and he just so happens to be away on business quite a lot leading up to the move (including the last few days!). When he’s not away, he’s mostly working at his local job, so that leaves a lot of pressure on me.

Tasks and me?
Let’s just say we’re not great friends.
Decluttering and purging?
Yeah, not too great there either.

I find it hard focussing on tasks, to the detriment of time spent on relationships (being an attentive wife and unschooling mum, and spending time with friends and family before we move away) and ideas (reflecting on and writing about the many things swirling around in my head at any one time).

Nonetheless, it must be done!

Since making the decision to move, we have had:

A week of visitors staying with us (which was great fun!)
Day trips and activities that we were pre-committed to
The anniversary of our baby’s death (which always causes my world to stop spinning for a few days)
A week of sickness (me)
Geoff away on a business trip, which happened to coincide with
A vomiting child
And now a vomiting me!

I went to the health food shop and consulted with a naturopath the other day, regarding strategies for coping with the stress. Stress apparently ranks pretty high on the scale of most stressful things. Add to that the fact that one of my biggest personal stressors is time stress, and you have a recipe for…. yuck. I had been letting it get to me, but over the past 24 hours things have started to settle a bit. Perhaps it is coincidence? Perhaps it has something to do with the magnesium and herbs I have started taking? Perhaps it was a long conversation with my mum that stretched into the wee hours of the morning and helped me think differently about our search for a rental property. Perhaps it is to do with the fact that my husband decided to come home from his business trip two days earlier than expected, and worked his magic on the mess. 🙂

Perhaps it is the fact that my three teenage sons got up to some helpful things (without being asked) while I was out doing errands this morning. 🙂

I texted my son while I was out, asking if he would mind hanging my sheets on the line. He replied, "I did it hours ago". :) Later, when we got home and he had left for work, we discovered his wet washing in the machine, so we hung it out for him. Kindness begets kindness begets kindness....
I texted my son while I was out, asking if he would mind hanging my sheets on the line. He replied, “I did it hours ago”. 🙂 Later, when we got home and he had left for work, we discovered his wet washing in the machine, so we hung it out for him. Kindness begets kindness begets kindness….
Our dog Lucy should definitely have been called Houdini! After discovering that she had masterfully escaped yet again, my husband came up with an idea to hopefully foil her Houdini abilities forever. He was away on business, though, and couldn't do it. When I came home from my errands, I discovered that two of my teens (13 & 17) had done it! So far so good....
Our dog Lucy should definitely have been called Houdini! After discovering that she had masterfully escaped yet again, my husband came up with an idea to hopefully foil her Houdini abilities forever. He was away on business, though, and couldn’t do it. When I came home from my errands, I discovered that two of my teens (13 and 17) had found some sheet metal and a drill and done the job! So far so good….

There is something so sweet about a child/teen doing something helpful simply because they see it needs doing and choose to do it, rather than because they are complying with a request (or perhaps, more sadly, a demand).

This move will certainly be a team effort. Not a conscripted team, but a team of volunteers, who may be more helpful at some times than others, which is okay in my book. Not necessarily desirable, but okay. I would much rather occasional help from a willing helper, than more regular help from conscripted slaves, I mean, children. I know this means that there will be days and moments when I feel overwhelmed and need more support.

The trick, I am learning, is being kind and honest about my feelings and my needs, and also respecting theirs. And coming up with mutually agreeable strategies for “getting the job done”. Oh, and also this: genuine requests are better than manipulative demands.

Relationships are the most important thing.

Connecting Devices

Image 1

You know that meme that was going around challenging people to place all phones, iPods etc on the table when eating out at a restaurant, and the first one to pick up the phone had to pay the bill? Well, we roll differently in our family! If someone is texting a friend, it is because they have something to say! Sure, we may have a bit of a joke about it, and humorously suggest that they talk to us instead, but for the most part we don’t see phones or other devices as the enemy.

In fact, we like to have a bit of fun with them! Instead of these devices being a source of tension, judgment or division, they are more likely to be a source of fun, laughter and connection. The image above is from a recent family meal at a restaurant. My oldest son in the furthest part of the image is looking for a funny video he wanted to share with us. My husband and one of my other sons are sharing a laugh about something on my iPad. My other two children and I were eagerly waiting to have a look as well.

The phones and iPad became tools of connection, not disconnection.

Life is what you make it. 🙂

Radical Unschooling Rules

Radical unschooling isn’t a set of rules to follow. It’s what happens when you rethink rules and start living by principles, when you stop forcing arbitrary restrictions and limits on kids and start living with mindfulness and consideration, when you stop being coercive and controlling and start being kind and thoughtful, when you stop thinking it’s all about the parents winning or the kids winning and start working together in partnership where everyone’s needs and feelings are of equal value.

Gaming Helps Bullied Kid

Bullying is never, never, never okay.

But neither is it black and white. It is not a simple case of “bullies are bad, victims are good”. Bullies are usually people who are hurting badly, themselves, and looking for an easy target as an outlet for their own pain. I think the saying “Hurting people hurt people” is an insightful observation. I don’t want to bully bullies, because that would be ridiculous! Yes, they need boundaries, but they also need love and understanding.

I truly believe that putting 98% of society’s children in mass childcare for twelve to fifteen years, with 2% of society’s adults in control, is a recipe for disaster, but that’s not the purpose of this post.

I simply wanted to point out that in the above video about bullying, the boy talks about how gaming helps him to process and cope with some of the impacts of the bullying. I thought it was interesting to hear it straight from his mouth, because it helps to debunk the myth that gaming increases violence. In case you couldn’t be bothered watching the video clip, here is the relevant bit:

Gaming actually helps me a lot,
to calm down and get out of the troubling parts of my life,
and to clear my mind of things that happened.
It’s like you go into a different universe….
I wish to fly without anything to hold me up…..
I like Harry Potter and I wish I could do magic! 
I’d zip everybody’s lips, all the rude people’s lips.

Video gaming can help people to handle stress better, reduce their hostile feelings and reduce the likelihood of depression, which I imagine would be a factor for the boy in the above video. There are many other benefits, too.

It’s time to radically rethink our assumptions about things like gaming!

Radical Unschooling and Food

I was thinking, tonight, while preparing green quiche and salad for dinner, about how the principles of unschooling actually apply to food, in the simplest of terms. I mean, I get that they do, and it’s how we live, but I think many people don’t necessarily understand why food gets included in the radical unschooling checklist. Radical unschoolers often say, “Oh, we don’t put restrictions on food”, or “They can eat what and when they like” and sometimes I wonder if people are making those choices simply because they have heard that radical unschooling means extending the philosophy into all areas of life, which means “no limits on food, bedtimes, media etc”, so if they do those things, they will be “qualified” to use the term. I’ve been wondering how many people have paused to consider *why* radical unschooling means not arbitrarily limiting food.

Then there are others who are trying to embrace radical unschooling but really struggle with “letting go of limits on food”. They often  say, “But I just can’t let go of my beliefs about food!” or “Surely you wouldn’t just let your kids eat whatever they want! All they would eat is lollies and chips and chocolate!”

Many people seem to think that they will be automatically considered a “radical unschooler” if they jump through certain hoops and tick all the necessary boxes (There are others who like to use the name and NOT jump through the hoops, but we’ll save that for another day!). This is the typical checklist that many people believe will qualify them as bearer of the grand title: radical unschooler.

  • No curriculum
  • No limits on food
  • No limits on media
  • No forced bedtimes
  • No forced chores

Do all those things and hey presto! You’re a radical unschooling parent!!

But I think it is much more than this. It isn’t just about doing the things a radical unschooler does. It requires thought, contemplation and mindfulness. It requires some mental shifts, and possibly some discomfort as we unpack our baggage, conduct critical analysis and undertake courageous self-examination as to why we tend to want to control certain areas of our children’s lives, why we find some areas harder to let go of than others, and whether we can still be considered a radical unschooler if we, for instance, still make our kids eat their broccoli! Radical unschooling involves re-thinking the status quo, and delving deep within ourselves to find that place where we truly can trust our children’s natural learning process in every area of life.

My daughter, making herself a fruit salad whilst I was in another part of the house, oblivious to her culinary adventures.
My daughter, making herself a fruit salad whilst I was in another part of the house, oblivious to her culinary adventures.

I think it also really helps to contemplate *why* the things on that list up there are actually on the list! Why is it that radical unschooling involves removing arbitrary limits from things like food?

So I spent some time thinking it through and this is what I came up with.  I think, like with unschooling academics, it is a multi pronged approach:

* With unschooling, we honour what our children love and we support their passions. We don’t elevate one activity as being more “educational” than another. Even if it is something we don’t personally value, we still respect the fact that they see very real value in it. We hold fast to the truth that they are learning all the time, whether they are choosing to watch a television program, or read a book, or draw in the dirt, or research medical eugenics.

So also, with food, we honour our children’s freedom of choice regarding food. We provide the foods they love. We say yes to them when we are out somewhere and they ask for a particular food. We trust in their ability to learn which foods feel good in their body and which foods don’t. We trust in their ability to know when they are hungry, to know what foods they do and don’t like, and to know when they are full.

* With unschooling, we provide an enriching, interesting environment with a wide variety of resources and opportunities for the nourishment of their minds. The resources and opportunities are always available for them to choose to use, or not.

So also, with food….. If we restrict their exposure to only ever include “all natural, all organic”, or we restrict their access to foods they want to try, or we rarely ever provide fresh, foods, relying instead on a diet of processed food, it’s a bit like how unschooling might look if we only provided TV, or only provided outside play, or only let them read books. That really wouldn’t be a great unschooling environment, and their opportunities for learning, and discovering/enjoying what they love, would be seriously limited. And when they do one day discover the big wide world of “other foods”, they may potentially gorge themselves to the point of being ill, or develop an unhealthy obsession with “junk food” or find it very difficult to have a pure, unadulterated relationship to food. So instead, we stock our kitchen with nourishing, tasty, fun and interesting foods. We provide a wide variety of foods to nourish their bodies. We prepare “monkey platters“. We cook and prepare foods that our family will enjoy eating, and make all sorts of foods easily accessible and attractive to look at, readily available for anyone to choose to eat them. Or not.

* With unschooling, we strew new and interesting opportunities and resources before our children, for them to explore. Or not.

With food, we experiment with new cuisines and recipes, explore new tastes, take them to interesting eating places, buy the weird fruit….. We stimulate the senses with interesting new smells and tastes and colours and textures. We visit the local farmer’s market, talk to the growers, try the samples, laugh together at the funny dog who balances an orange on his nose, throws it up in the air and catches it (click the link and scroll to the bottom of that post for an awesome photo of one very cool dog)…..

* With unschooling, we provide information, but without coercion and manipulation.

With food, we provide information, but without coercion and manipulation! And for many of us, when it comes to food, we have to do a lot of that self-examination I talked about above to enable us to provide information without it becoming a mini-lecture, or, even worse, a long lecture! In the early days of radical unschooling, it can be quite difficult to do this without the child feeling pressure and manipulation, even if we think we aren’t pressuring or manipulating them! In an attempt to “teach their children about nutrition”, many parents cause their children’s eyes to glaze over, and their minds to wander, and their heels to dig in.

* With unschooling, we are not only interested in what they’re doing, we are interesting people ourselves! We pursue our own interests.

With food, we follow our own bliss, eating what we love, and learning about nutrition if that’s what we want to do. We eat mindfully and authentically. We don’t do this to try to subtly convince them that they should do the same, but because we are living an authentic life, and eating the foods that we want to eat. When a child is in an environment of trust and respect, without pressure to eat a certain way, they are far more likely to be positively influenced by the way we are living and the choices we are making. If that is a scary thought, and you really wish they wouldn’t copy your eating patterns, then reconsider the choices you are making, rather than getting stressed about the choices your child is making!

So there you have it! When we apply the principles of unschooling to the way we interact with food, we are moving towards what is often termed radical unschooling, or whole life unschooling. And trust me, it’s an AWESOME way to live!

Food that says, “I Love You”

Today my daughter, who is ten, said that she wanted to make me some special food and that it was going to be a big surprise. She asked me to take her to the local supermarket to purchase supplies, which I happily did. She took her own basket and wanted me to make sure I didn’t see any of her purchases while I was doing my own shopping at the other end of the store. After she had gathered her ingredients, she waited separately while I paid and got out some cash for her, and then she went through the self service aisle to complete her purchase.

Home we went, and at this stage she required some help with erecting her privacy barricade, so that she could prepare the mystery dishes without me seeing.

Peekaboo!
Peekaboo!

IMG_5039

She was hard at work for quite a while, and I stayed nearby of course, to answer any questions. She was so excited to be doing this all by herself, and was particularly loving the mystery of it for me. I had no idea what inspired it all, it just seemed like something fun to do.

First cab off the rank, which she called the entree:

Freshly squeezed orange juice with mint from the garden.
Freshly squeezed orange juice with (LOTS of) mint from the garden.

The next step required some verbal assistance from me, and eventually a brief bit of practical assistance from one of her big brothers, to help with lighting the gas stove. And eventually, there was PERFECT, albeit sparsely filled, sushi. 🙂

She wanted me to tell everyone that it was "non alcoholic wine" - I think so that people didn't think she was getting into the grog in the kitchen lol.
She wanted me to tell everyone that it was “non alcoholic wine” – I think so that people didn’t think she was getting into the grog in the kitchen lol.

And finally, the piece de resistance: dessert, kid style!

She told me it would help me to feel young, because it was "kid food" :)
She told me it would help me to feel young, because it was “kid food” 🙂
Knowing that I really don't like cream out of a can (and that she does, and occasionally asks to buy some - or, in the case of today, obviously buys it by herself lol), she happily helped me eat the cream!
Knowing that I really don’t like cream out of a can (and that she does, and occasionally asks to buy some – or, in the case of today, obviously buys it by herself lol), she happily helped me eat the cream!
Mr 13 decided he wanted in on some of this food too, helping himself to sushi and dessert.
Mr 13 decided he wanted in on some of this food too, helping himself to sushi and dessert.

While I was finishing off my crunchy “fairy bread” (I really don’t remember it seeming quite so crunchy when I was a kid!), amidst lots of discussion about whether I actually ate things like fairy bread back in the “olden days”, she announced to me the reason for my “special meal”:

JUST BECAUSE I LOVE YOU, MUM.

A Gamer Self-Limits

My 13yo son is passionate (and I mean VERY passionate) about computers. Initially we thought he would follow a path towards the practical side, building his own computer, etc, and so we got a couple of old broken computers off Freecycle for him to pull apart and play with. He enjoyed doing that, and learned a lot, but a little while later when I suggested getting some work experience at a computer repair shop, he said that the experience with the old computers had helped him come to a place of clarity in terms of what he did and didn’t like doing. He realised that he isn’t really interested in the hardware side of computers, fixing them etc.

He is more interested in using them, creating computer graphics, gaming, making videos for Youtube, creating a website and Facebook page, researching, following incredibly interesting Youtube channels such as Vsauce, ChampChong and Mythbusters. (He recently got to have a chat and a photo with ChampChong at the EB Games Expo. I was so amazed at his decorum and confidence when stumbling upon one of his Youtube heroes. He didn’t go all ga-ga like I would have if I’d known who he was, but he also didn’t shy away. He was full of absolute confidence when walking up to him for a chat, to the point that I thought he was talking to someone he already knew!)

To support him in this interest, we managed to scrape together some funds to purchase an entry level gaming computer, headset etc, which he is making VERY good use of, let me tell you! He really enjoyed the process of researching different suppliers, different brands and infrastructure (probably not the right word) and then selecting the components he wanted and kind of building it virtually in a way.

gamer_self_limits_unshackledThen for his birthday this year, we got him a USB recording microphone. And a ukelele, just for something randomly different (his request).

ukelele_unshackled

He spends a major part of his life sitting at that computer, which brings me much joy. Truly! I know he is doing what he loves, pursuing his interest, and learning ever so much along the way. And he has also made some new friends and even met some face to face (I hesitate to say “in real life” because his life and their relationship is just as real whether it is via a computer or face to face).

gaming_with_friend_unshackled

(P.S. They didn't "just do gaming" when they met face to face, either. It's amazing how long they attempted to throw those tennis balls through that little tiny hole, and how much fun they had doing it!)
(P.S. They didn’t “just do gaming” when they met face to face, either. It’s amazing how long they attempted to throw those tennis balls through that little tiny hole, and how much fun they had doing it!)

I am more interested in supporting him in his passions, than I am in trying to somehow construct my own version of “balance” for him. We have talked occasionally about eye strain, and ways to combat it (he wants a pair of computer gaming glasses to help reduce strain when looking at computers etc. I think I want a pair too! Don’t tell him, but whenever I get the chance, I “borrow” them!). We also talk about needing to get up and move about every so often. It isn’t a demand or a forced thing, but rather a natural conversation, and the giving and receiving of information.

Just now, he surprised me (and hence the impetus for this post) by announcing that he’s set up a system for himself whereby while he is gaming he listens to a music playlist by Monstercat that goes for about an hour. When the playlist finishes, he stops what he’s doing on the computer (unless he’s in the middle of something that can’t easily be paused) and gets up to do something different for awhile, stretch his legs and so on.

I am quite confident that if I had instigated and insisted upon such a thing, and was trying to enforce it, his involvement in the process might be unhappy compliance, but with the idea being his own initiative, there is nothing for him to resent, or resist. He is learning to listen to his body, to find a solution that is fun and helpful, and he hasn’t had to endure any coercion (however subtle) from me at all.

I am actually feeling inspired by his decision, and think I might just go and stretch my own legs now. Bye! 🙂

Do “Violent” Games Make People Violent?

I am a pacifist, yet my children have all played with toy guns, swords, and now “violent video games”.

Yes, the two things can go together! My children are not me! They have their own interests and values, and I have mine, and that is okay. In fact, it’s awesome! Not always easy, but definitely good. I did not give birth to clones of the wonderful me. I gave birth to children who are unique individuals, with their own ideas and preferences.

I still don’t love the sounds of (fake) war when they play “violent” video games, but I focus on delighting in their enjoyment, interest and passion. And for what it’s worth, they don’t go around doing any of it in real life.

What My Kids Think

My children all say the same thing: It’s just a game!

I recently had a great chat to one of my boys (aged 16) whilst sitting on his bed watching him play what most people would call a”violent” game. He was relaxed, leaning back on a soft comfortable lounge, chatting casually with me whilst simultaneously pressing buttons that caused pixellated digitalised “people” to be artificially obliterated before our eyes. I was wondering what he thought of the fears some people have about first-person shooter games and how they can tend to blame violent crimes on “violent” video games. At the time we were chatting, we observed that there were hundreds of thousands of people all around the world playing Call of Duty Black Ops 2 at the same time as him. We wondered whether any of them had ever, would ever, or were at that time actually hurting (or desiring to hurt) anyone.

Dec and Brady Gaming_unshackled

Tonight I asked my youngest son (12) what he thinks of these kinds of games. Here is his response:

It stimulates your brain. You think about the strategy. For instance, you might see someone on top of a building; you can’t get out of where you are and you don’t have the right weapon for longer range shooting, so you use your brain to work around the problem. Does it make you want to go out and kill people? No. The whole fact that you’re shooting guns is irrelevant. It’s a strategy game where you want to win the match and it’s intense, fast paced. You can ignore the fact that you’re killing people. You don’t think about that. You just think about getting extra scores. It’s irrelevant that it’s supposedly ‘shooting someone’.

I asked him, “When you play a game like that, do you find that it’s a release of energy? Or do you feel MORE stressed after playing?”

It depends what happens. If you lose by a lot or something unfair happens, it can be stressful I suppose, but otherwise it can be a good challenge and really fun. You feel like you’ve achieved something.

Being non-sexist and all, I decided to also ask my daughter (10) what she thinks. She doesn’t play “violent” video games as much as her brothers, but she does occasionally enjoy playing Halo. I asked her, “How do you feel when you play a game like Halo?”

I feel like I am the person and I’m in a big adventure. I feel free and I don’t think that it could make me violent in real life. Because I could never actually shoot someone.

She has also played Skyrim a little bit, which has awesome graphics, and would be considered more violent than Halo.

Yeah I think Skyrim is a little violent but it’s not like I would get a real life sword and stab someone! Sometimes I do find it a little freaky, but it’s just so much fun because well, it’s just fun!

I tried asking my 19 year old son, but he said his brain isn’t functioning well enough to formulate his thoughts into words tonight. He got up at the crack of dawn today, travelled three hours to go to TAFE college, and then another three hours to come home late today after a full day at his course. So it seems all his game playing hasn’t turn him into a “delinquent” after all! Nor did “shooting zombies” turn him into a zombie!

What Other People Think

Many, many people make the assumption that “violent” games cause violent behaviour.

If you consider the huge number of people playing these games, why aren’t all of those people being violent?

If you consider the huge number of people playing these games, isn’t it statistically quite likely that, if a violent crime is committed, the offender will be a gamer ?

Does this mean that “violent” video games cause violence? I think that is a fairly large leap to make, and it is certainly not in keeping with my real life observations of people who play these games. Nor is it in keeping with the many, many other radical unschooling families around the world whose children have been raised in loving, connected homes with no arbitrary limits placed on game playing. Nor is it backed up by a recent study conducted by Texas A&M International University associate professor, Dr. Christopher J. Ferguson. The results of the study suggest that “Violent games may help people work through their frustrations with real life and calm down without increasing aggressive behaviors in real life”. If a gamer (or anyone!) does commit a crime, it is pretty much guaranteed that there are some other pretty big factors involved; perhaps a dysfunctional family, bullying at school or a maladaptive personality. Rather than blaming the games, perhaps people could start using them!

There is a reason why I keep putting “violent” in quotation marks when referring to video games. There are some key differences between depictions of violence, and actual violence.

If you look at a person playing a first person shooter game, what do you see? A person, usually sitting on a soft, comfortable lounge, holding a plastic game controller in their hands, often chatting with friends, sometimes laughing, looking at pixelated images on a televisions screen, and certainly not hurting anybody.

If you look at a parent walking into the room where their child or teen is playing a “violent” video game, you may see the parent roll their eyes, you may hear an angry, frustrated tirade, you may observe a subtle or not so subtle judgment of the game and the person playing the game.

Which is more damaging to the gamer? The game itself, or the judgment of their choice to play it?

What would happen if parents could

  •   accept their child/teen’s choice to play a particular game
  •   delight in the fact that they are enjoying their chosen activity,
  •   trust that they will be okay, and perhaps even
  •   play the game alongside them!!

A child/teen playing games with the support, interest and involvement of a loving parent is much better off than a child who feels judged, shamed and guilty for playing. It’s certainly been true in our experience and I have discovered that I care much more about connecting with my child and respecting their preferences, than I do about connecting with the idea that “violent” video games cause violence. Because, to be honest, I just don’t think it’s true!

Recommended Reading:

Food Freedom in Action

I wrote recently about our journey to Food Freedom. Tonight after a bit of Valentine’s Day food fun, I realised it was a good example of what I was talking about before, so here is a snapshot of Food Freedom in action. 🙂

A sleepover on Valentine’s Day seemed like a good excuse to try out a new recipe: Raw Chocolate Hearts, made with raw cacao powder, pure maple syrup and organic coconut oil (I flavoured it with some peppermint essence for extra pizazz!) After letting it set for not-quite-long-enough in the freezer (because who can wait, really!?), the fun began!

The girls had fun cutting out some shapes in the not-quite-frozen chocolate
The girls had fun cutting out some shapes in the not-quite-frozen chocolate – it hadn’t had time to set hard so it was deliciously gooey and messy!
The tasting began and the verdict was………
A definite thumbs up!
A definite thumbs up!
Yummy gooey deliciousness, even for self-proclaimed non-chocolate-lovers!
Yummy gooey deliciousness, even for self-proclaimed non-chocolate-lovers!
Who needs shape cutters when God gave us fingers?
Who needs shape cutters when God gave us fingers?
Along comes one of the teens to see what the fuss is all about, and he has a taste...
Along comes one of the teens to see what the fuss is all about, and he has a taste…
Nah, I'd prefer to eat some grapes thanks
Nah, I’d prefer to eat some grapes thanks
Yum, that was nice!
Yummo! More for everyone else. 🙂
Five minutes after the eating of the raw peppermint chocolate, the choice for yet another child was grapes. Neither food was said to be better or worse than the other. It was all just food, and it was all delicious! No guilt, no judgment, just food.
Five minutes after the eating of the raw peppermint chocolate, the choice for yet another child was grapes. Neither food was said to be better or worse than the other. It was all just food, and it was all delicious! No guilt, no judgment, just food.

I am so glad we no longer have an environment of food tension, judgements surrounding food, guilt, shaming and control in our family. It is wonderful to have children who are free to really taste and enjoy food, even if it’s “unhealthy” or, God forbid, “junk” food. We’ll be waking up to freshly made vegetable juice in the morning, and it has absolutely nothing to do with having to “compensate” for the chocolate tonight. It just so happens that tomorrow is a juicing day. We’ll also have a fresh fruit protein smoothie for breakfast, made with home made raw nut butter and organic chia seeds from the Kimberleys in Australia, amongst other delicious ingredients. The smoothie is nothing to do with anything that was eaten tonight or at any other time. It just so happens to be one of our favourite breakfasts at the moment!