Radical Parenting- My Summary of Discovery Health’s Show on AP parents

dischealthI was very late to the party.  I only learned about Discovery Health’s show Radical Parenting a few days before it aired, after catching a tweet about it.  I immediately set my DVR to record but ended up watching it live: a rarity in my home.

Before the show aired I learned about the controversy over the term “radical parenting.”  The show itself featured three families: an “unschooling” family, a family who practiced “attachment parenting,” and a family who raises their children in a “gender neutral” environment.

I will admit to not being into homeschooling, and definitely not unschooling.  I still watched the segment with an open mind, hoping to have it prove to me that unschooling is a viable method to educate children.  Frankly, that didn’t happen.  While I support families making choices for their families that work for them, I know unschooling is not for me.  I was happy to see that both parents were very well educated, so they have the tools to teach their children.  And, in a way, knowing they had both been to college and made the decision to unschool did carry some weight with me that maybe it wasn’t completely crazy!

The second segment followed an AP family.  If there was a rule book for AP living, I believe this family would be following it completely.  The highlight of this portion of the show was seeing a child ECing!  They were so good at EC that they didn’t use diapers, and never had.  Part of their success had to be contributed to the fact that their son was worn in a sling the majority of his life.  His cues partly involved squirming out of his sling when he needed to go to the potty.  Extended breastfeeding was also discussed, and the mother was even shown actually nursing!  Pretty cool!  This family also coslept with their younger children, something I was also happy to see on TV.  They did have to bust out the “crazy” a little.  A placenta was involved, but not to be eaten, just to plant.  A-ok with me.

The final segment had The Feminist Breeder‘s family talking about their lives as a “gender neutral” family.  They happened to come off as the most “normal” of the three, and had a very likeable family.  Their purpose was to raise boys who were feminist minded.  They allowed their boys to play with boy and girl toys, and liked to show both parents playing male and female roles interchangeably.  I agreed with everything they did, but I think calling it a name was not needed.  It seems to me it is something most parents do.  I personally allow my son to play with whatever he wants, be it a boy or girl toy.  Because he has an affinity for necklaces and hugging boys I do joke about his preferences, and I would love him no matter what!

Overall, I was happy to see these families profiled to let tv viewers see the way the other half lives.  I especially love seeing breastfeeding on tv!  I heard The Feminist Breeder’s husband was washing cloth diapers but I was tweeting during the show and must have missed it.

PS.  If you missed the show it airs again on Discovery Health on March 6 at 1:00 pm.  That is today people!

Did you see the show?  What did you think?

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  • River

    Totally agree with you, especially on the gender neutral segment. I have a daughter who is VERY into girly stuff, but if she wanted to play with trucks or whatever, I would be fine with that. But I wouldn’t label our family as “gender neutral” just because we are open to that.

  • Casey

    I would just like to say in the segment on Radical Parenting…the family that labels “their” way as a “Gender Neutral” family, umm yea I did not see either of the parents offer the father/male shoes to “play dress up in” The parents did not purchase a “gender neutral” doll house…it was pink and had Swan’s on it. I did not see one boy toy in the episode. What about a gender neutral log cabin? I see it as creating a solid gay man or a completely metro man, a girly man if you will but I disagree with that fact that the parents are enabling the boys to have a choice…They leave those boys no choice, in my opinion…I LIKE the THOUGHT that you are teaching your boys how to take care of a women…

    Concerned with an opinion~

  • Casey

    Just to clarify: I am simply saying these parents are not truly doing what they are saying. I would like to make it clear I am NOT homophobic!

  • I watched Radical Parenting in total awe…what I didn’t see with the unschooling family(1st family shown) was how or whom handles disagreements among the children. If the children make their own choices, there are bound to be disagreements at some point and with no authoritive figure….who separates fighting children……Nothing negative was shown with the children. I have 3 grown children and I have a daycare in my home and there are always going to be conflicts of some kind with children….I can’t imagine letting the children work out for themselves…there would be much crying!!!!!

  • I forgot to respond to this two months ago when I first saw it, but I just wanted it to be clear to Casey that my children were seen on that very TV show dressed up in their father’s motorcycle boots just as much as high heeled shoes. I guess people will only see what they want to see.

    Discovery Health is the one that gave us the label – we just let them see what we were doing. We’re also attachment parenters, breastfeeders, and babywearers – but notice that none of those parts of our family were featured. Why? Because it didn’t fit into their name for our segment. In fact, almost all the families practiced similar styles – but the point of the show was to highlight ONE aspect of each family to explain it to outside people.

    And yes – the Hyphenated Husband was washing cloth diapers in the show.
    .-= TheFeministBreeder´s last blog ..May 2010: In Case You Missed It =-.