podcastSeason 4

Ep 163: A Chance to Pivot, Not a Panic

By March 18, 2020 No Comments

Audio Producer

Juan P. Perez


Fatima Mookadam


Valerie Anderson


This episode is not a focus on the coronavirus. It’s a focus on personal leadership and the opportunity for us to pivot into a direction away from panic and instead towards self-directed practices.

We don’t have to be a collection of reactions to what is happening around us because as we raise free people, here is an opportunity to remember that we as the adults are included in that. For young folks listening, they are in a position here to take a bigger step up in their personal leadership, speak to the adults around them about what is not okay for them and to start to embody what it means to lead themselves.


-Is self-directedness only for education or learning?

-What else can be done instead of panicking about the coronavirus?

-What can young people do at this time?

-What can we do for each other?

-What are the opportunities within these current happenings in the practice of unschooling?

-Is this an opportunity that highlights the importance of community?

-What are you paying attention to as a parent?

-What can parents do in the extended period of time at home with their children?

-What triggers are coming up?

-What can I start doing with some of these triggers and what can I do more of?

-Is there a difference between the practice of unschooling and the act of unschooling?

-What does it mean now that the house is full of people everyday – something I dislike?

-Who feels like a resource, or someone I should walk away from at this time?

This is an opportunity to rise up out of what we are used to doing and the practice of unschooling can help with that. A chance to put a few self-directed practices in place because this is where we can get super schoolish and just react to things around us, tossing healthy personal leadership aside.

Times like these remind us of the importance of collectivism and community, to be able to check in with each other. That we can look at the ways we can ensure we’re not being a source of emotional weight on our children, family, selves.

In the middle of the potential chaos is an opportunity for community; an opportunity to contextualize what it means to be ourselves together.

For many parents their children will now be home for longer periods than expected. Start practicing your observation skills and pay attention to the feelings that are showing up for you and in your children, gauge how you respond to the anxiety children trigger, see what they do to occupy themselves when you back away.

These opportunities can enable parents to become better partners to their children and to become better leaders of themselves. Be in the space to look at the opportunities presented due to what’s happening. There are ways here that we can start to pay attention to what is happening around us instead of controlling it — because we cannot.

Boundaries will be tested and assessed, defined and redefined as we reimagine and reconfigure what it means to be around each other as ourselves. Let that arrange you! Don’t run away from it. Be with what that might mean for you.


  1. We must not be a collection of reactions to what is happening around us
  2. Look at ways we can ensure we’re not being a source of emotional weight on our children, family, selves.
  3. Practice observation skills while at home in the extended period at home, pay attention to feelings showing up in yourself and your children.
  4. Check in on yourself with all the triggers you’re receiving.
  5. Tap into your source of guidance..whomever that may be.
  6. Reach out to Akilah on www.raisingfreepeople.com on her voice memo
  7. Email Akilah she@akilahsrichards.com
  8. Direct-message her on Instagram at “Fareofthefreechild”
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