Sharing Our Values and Beliefs With Our Unschooled Children

We all have our beliefs. Even if we don’t have a religious faith, we still believe in something. We all have values which shape our lives.

Is it okay if we share these beliefs and values with our kids?

I’ve heard some unschoolers say that we shouldn’t influence our kids. They should be free to make up their own minds about such things without any input from us. I have a couple of problems with this opinion.

For a start, if our kids don’t listen to us, they will listen to someone else. There are lots of voices out there in the world calling for their attention. Isn’t it better that our kids listen to the people who love and care about them the most rather than those from outside the family?

And why shouldn’t we share what we believe? If we feel we know the truth, isn’t it natural that we share it? Isn’t it the right thing to do?

So if we do have a belief system which we regard as true and fundamentally important, what is the best way of sharing it with our children? Can we share by our example? If our values and beliefs are truly important to us, they will be obvious to our children. They will influence our actions and words. They will be an inseparable part of our lives. Our beliefs will be an integral part of who we are.

What if our beliefs demand certain actions and commitments that we’d like our kids to adopt? Do we make rules and insist they live by them? Or are rules ineffective? Will they drive our kids in the opposite direction from the one hoped for? But if we don’t make rules, what else can we do?

If we are connected to our kids and we’re living a life that is a witness to our beliefs, our kids will probably adopt them too. When they are looking for answers to the fundamental questions of life, they will turn first to the people they love and trust the most. This is my experience.

I’m talking about values and beliefs and unschooled children in this week’s podcast.

In Episode 102, I discuss the following questions:

  • Is it okay to share our beliefs with our kids? Or should we try not to influence them but leave them to make up their own minds without any input from us?
  • If we do want to pass on our beliefs and values, how should we do this?
  • Normally, unschoolers don’t make rules, but is it okay to make rules about issues that are of great importance to us?

I also talk about:

  • The real Sue
  • Our online friends who are going to become real life friends
  • The new addition to our family
  • My new Facebook group, Unschooling Collaborators
  • And some other family news

Show Notes


Episode 20, (More) Apologies: The podcast about the spectacular Jenolan Caves!

Blog Post

The Jeans-Wearing Rule





Youtube Channel

Facebook Page

Facebook Group

Unschooling Collaborators

Podcast Music

Twombly by Podington Bear(CC BY-NC 3.0)

Images: I took these photos of Sophie while we were on our last river bush walk adventure. We might have found some more suitable music video locations!

Talking about beliefs and values can be very tricky. There is always the danger of offending someone who has different opinions to us. I talked about a couple of issues we have experienced within our family, not to convince you that my view is the correct one. Rather, I just wanted to illustrate the point, with some examples, that there is a problem with making rules. There must be a better way.

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    • venisa
    • July 7, 2017

    I really enjoyed this podcast. Actually, I don’t really have any “real life” friends who would consider jeans immodest right now. I would like to be surrounded by the type of people who follow that line of thinking. Not the type of people who enjoy making and following strict rules, but the type of world where woman and men are respectful of each other. They go on dates(of the dinner and a movie variety) and don’t just hang out all of the time. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on the subject! You have a gift for sharing the real you and encouraging others. It’s very special!

    1. Reply


      I like your comment very much. It could start a whole new conversation! Perhaps we can discuss the topic of men and women respecting each other in a future podcast.

      Thank you so much for your encouraging words and for listening to this week’s episode!

    • Luana
    • July 8, 2017

    Sue, this topic is so interesting and I wondered about it a lot! I am so looking forward to our summer holidays and finding time to sit peacefully and hear your podcast (and writing you an e mail, finaly ;).
    ONLY in case that making transcript of this podcast DOESN`T take you much time or work (I have no idea if it is simple and fast, or not), would you mind posting it (unedited)? Maybe in raw-files? Reading is easier for me, than hearing (combination of lively children and small apartment). But I love hearing your voice and will do so soon 🙂
    Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    1. Reply


      I’d love to transcribe all my podcasts for readers who find it difficult to listen. Unfortunately, transcribing is very time-consuming. And even when I have the raw file, I’m never happy with the words so I feel I have to do some editing. However, I did transcribe part of this episode for you. (Maybe I can also use it in the unschooling book I’m writing!) I hope you find it interesting and not disappointing! I plan to write another similar post very soon so I’ll have another chance to get my words and thoughts into order!

      I hope you and your family are well. It’s lovely to chat with you!

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