043: How to Know When Your Young Child Isn’t Consenting: A Your Child Explained Episode

IMG_1919Today’s Your Child Explained episode – where we always try to get into the heads of our kids – is a little different. Usually, the Thursday YCE pertains to the previous Tuesday guest episode. This week, though, I wanted to share something a little different.

Last night my husband and I got to attend a live presentation with interest-led learning expert Blake Boles. His most recent book, The Art of Self-Directed Learning, is geared toward helping teens and young adults figure out what they really want out of life, and how to get it.

In today’s episode, I’m really thinking about that presentation, and specifically one question from an audience member. Find the show notes to this episode here, on my website.

It was a great presentation. Blake Boles is a true storyteller who has really figured out some important stuff in life – and loves to share those lessons.

Also, Blake knows his own limitations. One part of the presentation involved the idea of consent, that in self-directed learning, the learner (the student, the teenager) must consent to the teaching. When Blake was asked as a child “would you like to go to camp?” he shouted yes please! That’s consent, he continued, remembering that no one asked him “would you like to go to school?”

Later, a mom stood up and asked: “how do you know if your young child is consenting or not?” This is why I mention Blake knowing his limitations; instead of giving a BS answer, he turned it back out to the audience saying “I’m not a parent… Can any of you help?”

At which point a woman named Amy, sharing that she currently has a four-year-old, suggested that we know when young children are not consenting… When they are miserable, with tummy aches, loss of appetite, personality changes. When those things happen and go on, that is our child actively telling us “I am not consenting to this.”

Getting back to the idea of self-directed learning – for young children it’s really all about self-directed learning, isn’t it? Anyone with two kids or more knows how very different they all are, each from the others. The differences are intrinsic and these differences give us parents clues about what our kids need, how to direct their learning.

As much as we can, it’s our job, then, to help facilitate more of what our kids need, and less of what they don’t. They’ll show us the way by giving us consent – or not.

I’d like to leave you with a question: how does your child show consent or not? After listening, what do you think about the whole idea? Drop me a line at my contact page, or find me on instagram or twitter… Maybe we can use a future Your Child Explained to talk about your insights on this idea!