parentingpodcastSeason 4

Ep 123: Examining Our Respect Lens

By June 7, 2019 2 Comments

Audio Producer

Juan P. Perez


Fatima Mookadam


Marley Richards

What does respect look like for Black folks when it comes to raising free people? Tebogo asked this question, and it took Kris and Akilah back to a recent experience with their daughters and disrespect. We’ll also hear from Maleka Diggs, Philly-based unschooling mama and equity organizer, on the perception of respect among communities, cultures, and intended safe spaces. This ended up being a Parenting Patois episode, because our topic is about respect, and the conversation led us to recognizing the value of shared meaning–co-created language and definitions–among children and adults. In this episode, Kris and Akilah dive into the particulars of emotions, boundaries, barriers, and expectations when it comes to identifying, understanding, and managing feelings of disrespect and authentic self-expression when it comes to parents and children, as well as among varying cultures in Self-Directed Education spaces.


Mad Question’ Askin:

How can we trust that freedom doesn’t mean disrespect?

What’s wrong with assuming that giving up fear and force means rebellion?

Is our demand for respect based on what we think we lack?


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Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Anjel Berry says:

    Great episode, family! I really enjoyed the recent episode on toxic whiteness with the whole family. It was so inspiring. I started this particular episode with my husband in the car (unfortunately we didnt get to finish the podcast together), but I think it’s really valuable to have Kris chime in on episodes sometimes to show other dads that this work of raising free people is all about partnership. Partnership of parents, and partnership of parents and children.

    I think for me the biggest of the mad question asking for me to contemplate is about the demand for respect in relationship to something we think we lack. Letting it marinate.

  • Kristi Jones says:

    I have listened to this episode at least 3 times this week! Although we’ve been unschooling for a couple of months, we seem to have always raised our kids this way in our home so the approach doesn’t feel completely foreign. Removing all of the additional barriers like public school and other arbitrary rules has been liberating to say the least! What has been unexpected in our deschooling period is how unschooling sometimes also feels like UNPARENTING. Learning to recognize expectations of obedience versus true respect has been hard for my husband and I to adjust to but we’re working on it. My 7 year old has gotten very comfortable with saying “No, I don’t want to do that,” or “not right now” or “I’m not interested”. It makes sense that if he is in fact autonomous and directing his own path that he should have a say in what and how he contributes to the household and just what he’s exposed to in general. But it feels so disrespectful! The “Do what I say because I said it” syndrome runs deeper in my blood than I ever imagined and the kids are not having any of it, anymore.

    Our best solution so far has been to practice HOW we say no and to practice negotiating what we want to do versus what we want the other person to do. It’s an ongoing conversation and will take some time but so far the vibe is much better. I’d love any additional resources that you may have and would really love to hear a part 2 on this topic! I imagine this is a big part of the deschooling process for many unschoolers and I’m curious about how others have managed to keep hope alive. Because OMFG it’s a challenge!

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