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Unschooling Teenagers, Isolation, Fighting, and Weight Issues.

by Maggie
(Friday Harbor, WA)

My husband and I are Unschooling our 2 teenage boys, ages 13 and 17.

Short background: We have always unschooled, have always had a very relaxed parenting style, though I only came to Abraham and LOA about 6 years ago. It has radically changed my life and my thinking for the better but there are times when I still don't know if I'm on the "right" track or doing "right" by them.

My current biggest issues:
My youngest son is extremely heavy, loves to eat, and doing anything physical holds no interest for him. I've absorbed Abraham's explanation about how I cannot create for anyone else, nor would I force someone to alter their behavior in order to make me feel better.

That said, I am truly concerned that he doesn't move, doesn't get any exercise to speak of, and will sit for long stretches of time at his computer playing a video game -- day after day after day. That's what he loves to do, and I do feel that he should do what he loves. He is also an amazing musician and will compose music whenever he feels creative, which is often. He loves being close, having conversations, and being together as a family.

My oldest son is a type 1 diabetic, which means he has to monitor his food, count carbs and calculate insulin units all day, every day. This fact will from time to time make him break down crying because it's so hard to always have to pay so much attention to everything. It's a huge weight on his shoulders. He is a naturally quiet guy, but has become quite withdrawn in the last year, preferring to spend many days alone in his room with his computer (movies, gaming, etc.) instead of most other things, like getting outside for almost any reason.

He would love to get a job creating computer games but doesn't seem to have any ambition or follow-through in order to make it happen, ie. write letters, study, teach himself, etc. He says that the things he wants cost too much money and so he can't have them, which is how he has talked himself out of many things he wants or would do. "I can't do that because..." or, "I can't have that because...." Very defeatist and discouraged thinking that makes me feel awful!

We moved to this area about 7 years ago and the boys really have not made any friends. We live 10 miles outside town and there simply aren't people in "the neighborhood" to hang out with. I work full time, my husband is home during the day with the boys, and there is no organized homeschool group that I've discovered, though I have given a lot of thought to starting one ourselves.

My feelings: As an unschooling mom AND an Abraham "student," I am trying to let my kids follow their own paths and do their own thing. There's not a heckuva lot of chores being done here, to say the least, and I am absolutely certain that I have feathered their nest from the time they were born.

When I was younger I firmly believed that if I only did X (and not Z!) my kids would grow up happy and well adjusted, confident and successful. However, I feel I've been doing X all these years and I'm not necessarily seeing the happy kids I thought I'd have -- more like lonely kids, kids with "issues."

Obviously source doesn't see it this way but I'm not sure how to deal with the social pressures about 'obese teenagers,' helping your teen find their strengths and their own voice, and trying to be the supportive parent I believe I am. When I decide to focus on what's positive I do feel better but the situation for my kids remains static (so it seems) and neither one of them puts much stock in LOA.

I thank you SO much for taking your time with this! If you have any thoughts about our situation or want to channel Abraham as though I'd asked this at a workshop, that would be fantastic! Actually, I probably already know the answer, but it's always nice to hear it. Thanks again!

Comments for Unschooling Teenagers, Isolation, Fighting, and Weight Issues.

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Empowered Parents?
by: Annie Desantis

Hi Maggie,
Firstly, just to let you know, I don't claim to channel Abraham, the collective energy that is Abraham is shared to us via Esther Hicks. Abraham does tell us when we tune into our own guidance, we have access to them as well, but of course it sounds so much clearer when it comes via Esther!

I'll tune in myself and give you my insights, and you can see if anything feels right for you.

As parents we can only do the best we can, and you have done a fabulous job of raising your kids in line with what you believe to be best, using Unschooling and then learning about the Law of Attraction.

Your are asking your questions from your love and concern for your boys, and your worries and fears are the dominating energy, and as you know that will be adding fuel to the negative issues.

You know all the things about looking and focusing on your children's positive aspects, and looking at what you do want rather than focusing on what you don't want. So I won't go into much about that.

Your kids have stopped thriving in an unschooling environment, are manifesting health issues, and don't believe all this woo woo LOA stuff. Your lifestyle sounds quite isolating, both for your boys, and for yourselves as parents. Our kids and their issues are often a barometer of what is happening in the family in some way.

Unschooling works best when there is an enthusiastic adult who loves finding out about things, and whose energy excites the kids to explore, learn and grown. The adult facilitates the kids to take their ideas further, to expand in new directions, to find out about weird and wonderful things.

It is interesting that both your children are manifesting physical/health issues. When our body starts to be under stress, there is usually quite a bit of disharmony or disconnection.

Part Two Follows . . . .

Empowered Parents? - Part Two
by: Annie Desantis

What I am wondering is have you and your husband put your own dreams and passions to one side in order to be "good" parents doing the home schooling thing. Either that or somewhere is there conflicted energy about what you want to do. If a parent goes off to follow a passion, or puts most of their energy into something other than the kids, that is not a problem if the energy is clear.

Kids thrive when their parents are joyful, fulfilled and energized. If parents are drained, doing a job they are not passionate about, or feeling conflicted about what they are doing, then that energy has a huge impact on the children.

Maybe your kids are disappearing into computers and video games as a way of avoiding pain, and life, rather than something they are joyful about. If they come out of their rooms happy and excited and energized, then they have participated in something that has given them pleasure. If they come out of their rooms grumpy and surly and start bickering and fighting, then their energy is showing you they are not tuned into their joy and passion.

Think about how your kids are learning and developing their belief systems. You clearly talk to them about LOA, but they are resistant. Kids are usually resistant if parents are being incongruent. You don't really have to talk to them about it, if they see you doing things to get yourself in sync, they learn that from you. What you DO is far more powerful than what you say.

Who is supporting you and your husband? How do you get your needs met? Are you running around trying to sort your boys out at the expense of you? Is there an undercurrent of resentment? What do you do to get yourself feeling good?

I know you have been trying really hard to do it "right" but I am wondering if you have dis-empowered yourselves in the process. What is happening to your energy? Parents often mistakenly think raising kids with Law of Attraction Principals means kids can do what they want all the time, and parents end up doing everything to support that.

Being a parent means you have executive control - your children are not being empowered by you LOOSING your power. Executive control means you are the keeper of the bigger vision. It doesn't mean power over, or coercive power, but it does mean you know what needs to be done as a whole for your family life to function, and you have the right to expect participation in helping your household to run.

You also can set limits and boundaries without feeling guilty that you are not doing it right. When the boys live independently they can do whatever they want. While they live with you there can be contributions and behaviors that are required as part of the family.

Part Three Follows . . .

Empowered Parents? - Part Three
by: Annie Desantis

Kids should be contributing, and having responsibilities helps them to feel valued. Your oldest boy is at the age, where he could be taking on a lot of responsibilities around home, more as an equal, than as a dependent child.
Your younger son also could be cooking, or participating in lots of ways around home.

Getting them to contribute can be the challenge. You need to get yourself lined up first. You simply get yourself in a place of positive expectation, and put out what you want. It's not your problem, or your fault if they are angry or resentful at having to do dishes or vacuum. Don't get hooked into popping out of your vortex, because they are grumpy.

When my kids were teenagers I tried all sorts of things with household chores, and they would work for a while, and when they stopped working we found another way. I think what worked best is when they had some choices. They had NO choice about my expectation that they would contribute.

Make a list of all the things that need doing for a household to function well, and everyone can add to the list. The list might vary week to week. The list includes things like taxi service, running kids to activities, each meal that needed cooking, shopping, chores, any household maintenance that needs attending and the kids would sometimes add their room tidy up to the list.

Then EVERYONE takes responsibility for getting them done. you take turns to chose one thing until every item on the list has the name of the person taking responsibility. Unless something was an ongoing project, or had a time frame attached to it, the items needed to be completed by the following Friday.

Apart from meals, my son would get all his commitments out of the way immediately, then would relax the rest of the week. Even when cooking he would cook double meals and freeze the rest for his next cooking night. My daughter - like her assignments, would leave it until late Thursday and would stay up late cleaning - she even tried to mow the lawn in the dark one time.

You have just as much right as the children to do the things that you love and make you happy. And sometimes it is a balancing act of getting some things out of the way so we can take the time to do what we love. Sometimes it is a matter of re-prioritizing - the laundry can wait until you have had a soak in the bath. Or better still, someone else can do it!

Part Four Follows . . . .

Empowered Parents? - Part Four
by: Annie Desantis

What I would suggest is, you take time to tune into you. What are the little things you can do that help you to feel happy? A walk in nature, a piece of music, hot soak or doing some craft. Have a list of things you can easily go to when you feel yourself getting stressed or worried.

Listening to your Source, and what is right for you will go a long way to shifting the stuck energy in the family. Showing your boys how you get to a place of feeling good, will be an excellent role model for them.

The other thing, is make family fun a focus. Get together and brainstorm all the things you can do together to have fun (and get away from those computers for a while!) Each family member can be responsible for the adventure that day. Whether that means organizing a trip somewhere, delegating someone to pack a picnic, working on a family project in the garden. Hand some of the family responsibility over the the boys, it is not up to you to get everyone happy.

You clearly have a very close relationship with your boys, and love them deeply. If your energy shifts, and you have positive expectations about a happy productive family, that has a powerful effect on what is going on with the boys. Check and see where you and your husband are contributing to the household energy in unhelpful ways and clean it up. (Well yours anyway, you can attend to your husband's stuff)

Do things with your boys that are fun, that you love doing, rather than from a place of "it would do you good to get out of the house and get some exercise"

And if putting some limits on their computer time makes you feel better than your concern about them playing for days on end, then turn the power off and have a sing-along by candle light!

Wishing you JOY,
Annie Desantis

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