Below is a list of top 10 parental behaviours to ensure a LONG and STRONG relationship with your Kids. This list has been learned, written and provided by unschooling advocate, Maria Whitworth. I would love to hear from you on whether you agree or disagree with these points. If you have an alternative list, please feel free to post a comment.

#10 Drop your assumption that you know what’s best for them.

#9 Facilitate, but don’t meddle.

#8 Hold off on giving your opinion while you’re feeling a negative response.

#7 Only use time-outs on yourself.

#6 Try to allow them room to “fix” their own situations. Of course, you can suggest what you might do for yourself if it was you in their shoes. But don’t fix it for them.

#5 Don’t get too enamored with or emotionally invested in what YOU see as your child’s talents and gifts.

#4 LISTEN and learn. Get to know your kids, and marvel when they show you new ways to see things.

#3 Try to wean yourself from any self-imposed “schedule addiction.” Experience the guilt-free pleasure of living with flexibility, inspiration and openness.

#2 Respect your child’s ideas, judgment and inherent wisdom. You can only do that when you respect your own ideas, judgment and inherent wisdom.

#1 In any situation, how would I respond if this was my best (adult) friend?



  1. Woh !! In these 10 points I saw common sense and wisdom. Each one spoke to me and seemed to encapsulate all others. My struggle, sometimes, is not that I do not know or do not believe in them but that I find it difficult to balance the mother and the teacher in me. As an educationist I know what's psychologically and pedagogically sound and yet sometimes as a mother I find it difficult to do act on that knowledge. Probably because I was trained to be an educationist by organisations and persons while I am still learning to be a mother from my son.

  2. Hi,

    I have some points from Chanakya quotes (Indian politician, strategist and writer, 350 BC-275BC).

    You might consider these also

    "Treat your kid like a darling for the first five years.

    For the next five years, scold them.

    By the time they turn sixteen, treat them like a friend.

    Your grown up children are your best friends."

  3. While reading this, I realized that these are some of the random thoughts that generally pass us by and we are unable to grasp them or take cognizance of them….

    Reason – the way we are 'educated' (as also mentioned in your next blog Manipulation of materials – Safety or Sanity) makes us passive towards our own thinking & guarded towards our own freedom. While we have the ability to think beyond obvious, our minds are trained over the years to define limitations and we pass it on to our children – sub-consciously/ unknowgingly . It takes determined thinking and dedicated effort to break out of that.

    I think #2 (Respect your child’s ideas, judgment and inherent wisdom. You can only do that when you respect your own ideas, judgment and inherent wisdom) should be the underlying principle in every interaction with the child cause the rest should automatically follow if this is observed.

    A well brought up child, with a mind of her own, sense of self worth & personal identity is an asset to every society. Education should definitely faciliate this and not retard this.. and as I see it there is so much learning to do from children since they come unloaded in their approach & unrehearsed in their actions…

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