As a parent, I consider myself very much open towards other peoples parenting skills and techniques. I understand, through friends and family members, that we don’t always raise our children in the same manner, but that this is okay, as all families are different, and our parenting skills need to reflect this.
Yet, when I came across a recent Channel 4 programme, named Feral Families, I was curious to find out more about the no-rules parenting technique, meaning raising your children off the grid. To say I was shocked was an understatement, but I believe there were a few things which I took from the programme and the overall concept.
What Exactly is No-Rules Parenting?
No rules parenting is exactly that – parenting your children without rules. This was the major issue I initially had. After all, every one of us lives in a society whereby we must adhere to some form of rules at one time or another whether through school and work or out in public. Try as we might, rules are there for a reason. My main concern was how such children raised without them would cope one day when having to go into the outside world, more so when faced with them in the workplace?
What struck me most about the families in the programme was how everyone was home schooled. Apparently, the traditional British school system was too strict for these parents, with its too many rules, and this doesn’t fit with no-rules parenting. Whilst I understand that not every child is suited to the educational system, surely this meant their education would continue at home? For some it did; yet for others it simply meant doing what they wanted. Hence you had a 13-year-old boy who had the reading age of a 5-year-old!
Can No-Rules Parenting Teach Us Anything?
If you look hard enough for the positives in this programme, you will find some. I was proud of the children from one family that had all been taught to read and write, but who also knew how to build fruit and vegetable boxes in the garden whilst operating several tools. Two of these children also decided to try school out for a couple of weeks, just to see if they would like it or not. They didn’t – but at least they gave it a try.
No-rules parenting certainly has a lot more to it then what you see on a devised television programme. It may not be for everybody, but, as with any parenting method, it is one worth reading into further before writing it off in its entirety.