Artwork

Sisällön tarjoaa Pam Laricchia. Pam Laricchia tai sen podcast-alustan kumppani lataa ja toimittaa kaiken podcast-sisällön, mukaan lukien jaksot, grafiikat ja podcast-kuvaukset. Jos uskot jonkun käyttävän tekijänoikeudella suojattua teostasi ilman lupaasi, voit seurata tässä https://fi.player.fm/legal kuvattua prosessia.
Player FM - Podcast-sovellus
Siirry offline-tilaan Player FM avulla!

EU356: Unschooling “Rules”: About Food

39:36
 
Jaa
 

Manage episode 388048286 series 2364818
Sisällön tarjoaa Pam Laricchia. Pam Laricchia tai sen podcast-alustan kumppani lataa ja toimittaa kaiken podcast-sisällön, mukaan lukien jaksot, grafiikat ja podcast-kuvaukset. Jos uskot jonkun käyttävän tekijänoikeudella suojattua teostasi ilman lupaasi, voit seurata tässä https://fi.player.fm/legal kuvattua prosessia.

We’re back with another episode in our Unschooling “Rules” series. And we use the word “rules” in quotes to draw attention to the fact that there is no such thing as an unschooling rule!

It can feel easier to reach for a set of rules to follow, especially when we’re learning something new, but we want to offer you space to look within, to find what makes sense to you and what makes sense to the individual members of your family. There are no unschooling police. Nobody is going to drop by your house and give you a failing grade—or an A+. Our goal with this series is to explore these apparent “rules” and cultivate an environment for self-discovery, for inquiry, for agency, and for growth.

In this episode, we’re diving into some common beliefs and misconceptions that people have about unschooling and food. We all bring with us a lot of societal messages and personal experiences with food when we become parents. And for many of us, the unschooling journey offers us a chance to unpack some of those underlying beliefs and expectations and to create a healthier relationship with food for ourselves and for our children.

It was really fun to discuss this topic and we hope you find our conversation helpful on your unschooling journey!

THINGS WE MENTION IN THIS EPISODE

The Living Joyfully Shop

Navigating Family Gatherings Focus Course

Just in time for the busy holiday season, we have released a focus course on the Living Joyfully Shop called Navigating Family Gatherings! In this four-week course, Pam and Anna share mindset shifts and practical strategies for making family gatherings a positive experience for you and your loved ones, and leave you feeling empowered and looking forward to your family gatherings rather than dreading them. Check it out!

The Living Joyfully Network

Watch the video of our conversation on YouTube.

Follow @exploringunschooling on Instagram.

Follow @pamlaricchia on Instagram and Facebook.

Follow @helloerikaellis on Instagram.

Check out our website, livingjoyfully.ca for more information about navigating relationships and exploring unschooling.

Sign up to our mailing list to receive The Living Joyfully Dispatch, our biweekly email newsletter, and get a free copy of Pam’s intro to unschooling ebook, What is Unschooling?

We invite you to join us in The Living Joyfully Network, a wonderful online community for parents to connect and engage in candid conversations about living and learning through the lens of unschooling. Our theme this month is In the Flow, and we’re exploring it through the lenses of parenting and living.

So much of what we talk about on this podcast and in the Living Joyfully Network isn’t actually about unschooling. It’s about life. On The Living Joyfully Podcast, Anna Brown and Pam Laricchia talk about life, relationships, and parenting. You can check out the archive here, or find it in your your favorite podcast player.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

ANNA: Hello, everyone. I am Anna Brown with Living Joyfully, and we are so glad you have joined us for this episode of the Exploring Unschooling Podcast. I am joined by my co-hosts Pam Laricchia and Erika Ellis. Welcome to you both!

PAM AND ERIKA: Hi!

ANNA: I wanted to mention one of the new Focus Courses we have available at the Living Joyfully Shop. It’s called Navigating Family Gatherings. It’s kind of a timely topic for this season for many of us, and we will continue to be adding things to the shop. So, we’d just love it if you could pop in there periodically and see what’s new and share it. You can follow the link in the show notes or you can go to livingjoyfullyshop.com.

But before we get started, we wanted to remind everyone that with this Unschooling “Rules” series, we use the word rules in quotes to draw attention to the fact that they’re no such thing as a rule, not when it comes to unschooling for sure.

It can feel easier to reach for that set of rules to follow, especially when we’re learning something new, but we want to offer you the space to look within, to find what makes sense to you and what makes sense to the individual members of your family. There are no unschooling police. Nobody is going to drop by your house and give you a failing grade or the A+. Our goal with this series is to explore these apparent rules that are floating around and cultivate an environment for self discovery, inquiry, agency and growth. And we’re going to change up our format a bit and just have an open discussion about the topic area. And I think it’s going to be a lively, fun conversation because we’re going to be talking about food. Erika, do you want to get us started?

ERIKA: Okay! So, I’m excited. We decided to call this episode Unschooling “Rules”: About Food, because I don’t think there is even one particular food role that comes to mind when we think of unschooling, but there are a lot of beliefs, fears, misconceptions that people have. And it is a topic that people are asking about all the time. And so, I thought we could start out with sharing what some of those beliefs are.

And so, I’ll just list off a couple and then we’ll go from there. So, here’s a few that I’ve heard over the years. The first one goes, if kids can eat whatever they choose, they’ll only eat ice cream. Or fill in the blank, whatever the thing is that feels the scariest. Kids cannot be trusted to know what their bodies need. We, as adults, need to pass along what we’ve learned to them so that they can be healthier than we were when we were kids. Kids should eat how we’ve learned works well for us to eat. And also that unschoolers must just not care much about physical health. If they’re letting their kids eat what they want, what they choose to eat, physical health must not be important.

ANNA: They just don’t care at all. I think we’ve all heard all of those and more when people are just first diving into this.

PAM: Oh, yeah, I think it’s so interesting to think about those and I would love to hear, in the comments below or whatever, what rules come to mind for you. And even though we’re giggling here, that’s because we have spent lots of time processing through this, because this is a huge conventional wisdom piece.

And it comes down to that last one you were talking about that, oh, we must not care about our kids. But no, it’s a different way of thinking about it. And I think we’re going to bring that same analysis that we bring to all our Unschooling “Rules” episodes in that, oh, you know what? People really are so very different. People’s bodies function so very different. And when we can start to look through that lens and just have conversations with each other, we can start to just pick that apart, peel back those layers, because people are different.

It’s not hard to get someone to say yes to that right off the bat, but the depth to that is incredible. It applies to everything from relationships, to food, to sleep, to how we like to engage with the world, to how we react to constraints. Everything is wrapped up in how people are different.

We’re talking about food. So, we can say, “Eating this way feels good to me. My body feels really good.” We can hold that completely. That is our truth. And yet, also, we can hold that I don’t need to tell everybody else, my partner, my best friend, my children, that, “Oh my gosh, I’m feeling so good eating this way. You should do this too.” It’s like when you first get to unschooling, you go, “My gosh! Everybody should unschool! Because it’s working really well. I’m really excited about it.” To be able to hold that, unschooling is really exciting. This way of eating is really exciting and working really well for me. And yet, it may be different for other people. It may be different for other families. To be able to hold those together, that, for me, is the first step.

Because once you get to that point, then you can shift to being open and curious and learning about our kids and food and how it feels to them and supporting them in their choices.

It’s like journeying alongside them, I think. And it’s a funny thing. My kids didn’t have too much weight around food. I didn’t find unschooling until they were a little bit older, but I wasn’t overly judgmental about food, even when they were younger.

But to realize that, oh, I can also discard a lot of the weight that I’ve been carrying around about the messages that I grew up with and that I was getting from society in general. I was like a newbie on this journey alongside them. So, I was exploring food, learning what felt good, all those pieces, and, like we were talking about in the last episode, it changes over time, and I learn more.

It’s not something where I’m looking for the answer, and this is the way I want to eat forever, and then judging myself if I eat in a different way or change something up. It’s more about understanding ourselves and figuring out what’s working for us and exploring and playing and just having all those interesting things.

Ice cream for breakfast is not going to hurt anyone. Ice cream for breakfast for a week, for a month, is not going to hurt, but it’s exploring that and having the conversations. That’s where the learning is, in the conversations. And if there’s judgment, people don’t want to have conversations with you. Like, “Oh, my gosh, you did what? Oh, you must feel horrible!” If somebody said that to me, I wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them about it.

ANNA: And I think that’s the piece that I want to talk about, because you kind of said like, Oh, keep it to yourself. And I don’t think that’s exactly what you meant, but, but that’s not how we did it. I did share my journey with food, because I had some really unhealthy messages given to me as a child. And so, this journey with food has been a long, long one for me to figure out my body, how I want to move, what fuels it, what feels good, all of those pieces. And I am very open with that.

The difference is I don’t think at all that it would necessarily apply to anyone else. But what I think is valuable about the conversations, because in my family, with my kids and my husband, we always talk about food and what feels good to us and how we want to do things, because I think the conversation is interesting. It does give us this mind of like, what does feel good for me? How does this feel? What do I feel about this? We’re able to have conversations, because for me, it was such a valuable piece of my path that I didn’t want to keep it from them, because I think that’s where we can go to the hands off.

We can go to like, just don’t give them any information at all. And I just really am a believer that people want information. And what I saw with my kids is that they eat very differently. One will never eat fruit, still to this day. One loves fruit and this one loves vegetables and this one loves this. And it’s so different how they do it.

There was no judgment about that. It was just like, does this feel good to you? And a lot of it was textures and a lot of it was about energy.

And I loved in a previous episode where, Erika, you were talking about how candy felt different in Maya’s body at different times, like she craved it and wanted it. And I’m thinking, wow, think of how she’s growing and the energy she needed to do things and candy and sugar is a fast energy. So, those kinds of conversations I think are interesting. And so, I think for people, it, it’s not about not sharing information. It’s about keeping that judgment out of it.

PAM: Yeah. When I was talking about journey alongside each other, I meant in conversation and sharing that journey and telling each other, oh, like, “I’m really craving this,” or, “I’m really interested in this and I want to explore this,” and how it felt. Yes, absolutely. That is what I was trying to get to what I talked about journeying alongside each other together.

Because yeah, that is so much of what’s come out of all these Unschooling “Rules” episodes and specifically that Self Regulation one, our last episode that we were talking about. It’s in the conversations. It’s in being together where we all learn pieces, where we can process and bounce ideas off each other and just really dig into it and be curious without the judgment piece.

But information is awesome. With my kids, something that was I found different as they grew up with their peers was that the “people are different” idea was really the lens through which they saw the world and their friends.

There weren’t those judgment pieces. There weren’t the expectations that other people were doing it the right way, the one way, because that’s the way they grew up. How you do things is okay. And that’s working well for you. And that’s really cool. And somebody else is making different choices and that is just as cool. There’s no judgment as to one better than the other. And to be able to even just take that idea with you as you move on into the world and how you relate to friends and all those different pieces, that has been something that has stood out for me over time,

ERIKA: When I’m looking at these beliefs, it’s these cultural messages that have been ingrained for our whole lives.

And so, it makes sense that these are challenging, when we first come to unschooling, especially, and as our kids go through seasons of eating different things if it looks different than what our beliefs are telling us it should look like.

I wanted to go back to the one about if kids can eat whatever they choose, that they’ll only choose ice cream or chips or candy or something like that. And so, I feel like this one is such a popular belief because so many people are going from really extreme controlling of food. And so, if that has been your culture in your family up until this point, and then you decide now, my kids can choose, they’re going to choose the things that they didn’t have access to before. That’s just human nature.

And so, I feel like, in a way, yes, this happens. It happens for a while. It happens until they really do have choice. And then, like with my example of Maya and the candy, there are seasons to it as well. And so, I do think it’s interesting and important to notice, what are you coming from? What are your kids’ internalized beliefs about food? Do they think they really have a choice? How limited have they been in the past? And then really look at that “It seems like they only want to eat ice cream” moment for what it is, which is a human being who wants to choose the thing that they have never been allowed to have before.

PAM: I do like that, because that is such a valuable lens, because especially when restrictions are being released, it’s not so much about the choice that they’re making, it’s the fact that they have the choice. It’s like, oh, now I can choose this thing. Can I still choose this thing an hour from now? Can I still choose this thing tomorrow? They’re going to keep choosing that or don’t be surprised if they choose to keep choosing that until it really feels like a choice that they have that will not be taken away from them. “If I choose it one more time, will you finally decide that we’re going to put restrictions back in place?” And it works with food and it works with tech use. And it just works with anything that is previously restricted, because it’s human nature when something has been restricted. “I can do this now?!”

ANNA: And to test it, because kids want to make sense of things, so they’re going to test that. “Where is the limit? Ice cream for a month? Is that the limit? Is it every meal? Is that the limit?” But something that just keeps popping up to me as we’re talking, I really think the release of judgment is probably the most important piece, because we can think about all different aspects. So, it’s the particular food, it’s the time they eat, the whatever, but I’m also thinking, so I was what was called the picky eater. I had a very limited diet when I was younger. It involved a lot of potatoes in all forms and I think there were times my parents worried about how restricted my diet was, but they really never said anything about it. And what’s interesting now is, as an adult, I understand looking back that it was certain textures. It was certain things that just didn’t work for me.

And now, I have this incredibly varied diet of things that I love. I know different things that I didn’t have access to when I was a kid. And so, I think it’s just not about judging. Because I’ve seen families who are like, “You have to try everything on your plate. I want you to be this well rounded eater,” but back to people are different.

We don’t know how that food is being experienced, spicy versus not spicy, textures, salty versus sweet. We don’t know what that even feels like to another person.

And so, I think that trust and just letting go of that judgment, we just learn so much more. I feel like my parents probably could have done that. I don’t think they shamed me about my eating, but I don’t think they also asked a lot of questions where I probably could have said, “I just think mushrooms are gross. And so, I don’t want to eat that thing that’s smothered in mushrooms.” But we didn’t have those conversations, but I feel like I did with my girls and that we would talk about, “What is it you don’t like about fruit?” “Okay, this is what it is,” and then we could figure out different things. I don’t know. I think letting go of the judgment and having that curiosity leads to so much learning.

ERIKA: Yeah. The letting go of judgment is not easy, because of the culture and just how deeply ingrained it gets. And so, I think that is like a really big part of the journey is just intentionally trying to release that, learning new and different things about food that you didn’t realize before, learning things about child development, and trusting that you cannot know someone else’s internal experience. And so, we really just have to believe people when they say it doesn’t work for them for whatever reason, whether it’s just it makes them feel more comforted to eat foods like that or it’s a texture thing like you’re saying. I mean, there can be so many reasons.

And when kids are young, they won’t even be able to describe, necessarily, how it’s bothering them. Maybe it’s even making them feel sick. They just can’t even describe what that is. And so, for something like food, it’s a shame that there are such strong beliefs about what is right and what is good, because that can distract us from really listening to the only person who knows what this experience is like, which is the person who’s eating the food.

ANNA: Right, and not to be dramatic, but I think that can lead to disordered eating in that we’re not listening to what’s working for us. We’re either being influenced by this outside voice or being shamed about what we’re eating. And so, it just disconnects us from what actually works for ourselves.

PAM: Yeah, and I think for me, when I was starting to feel that worry rise or things, it wasn’t about stuffing that down or saying, “Oh, I’m an unschooler. I shouldn’t worry about that stuff.” But for me, it was more information like, what are other possibilities?

I came across intuitive eating, the idea of that, the concept of that, as I was looking into diets, looking for the best way to eat. When I could get more information, that really helped me see that, oh, yeah, this is the conventional story that I am hearing regularly, but there are other stories and other things are working for other people that open things up.

When I think about all the many, many different pieces of our food journey, they include being vegetarian for many, many years and include Type 1 diabetes and all these different pieces and textures, likes, dislikes, all those things just alongside. For me, what really helped me move through those, looking back, was just coming at it with a lens of abundance versus scarcity. That lens of abundance, if somebody had a texture thing, it’s like, “Oh, that’s really curious,” and thinking about other things maybe with that same texture or without that texture.

So, it was always about bringing more possibilities in if they were feeling that they didn’t like certain things. I didn’t want them to think, “Okay, yeah, sure. I don’t want to make you eat that. I’m not going to make you eat that, but we’ve got a peanut butter sandwich here for you. That’s your other choice.” So, to have that abundance really just helped us play so much more and be so much more relaxed around food.

ANNA: It’s so funny how, like, our brains are so similar in that way, because abundance was exactly what came to mind for me in kind of a different angle. For me, food is medicine. I don’t really participate in Western medicine. And so, the food I eat is important to me and it was important and it was something that we talked about in my family. But it was with that lens of abundance. And that makes all the difference, because there was never anyone feeling like they didn’t have the sweet they wanted, the salt they wanted, the variety they wanted, the everything they wanted. We would just find a way.

So, I think it can be so unique to every family. So again, there’s not one way for this to look. So, I hope everybody’s getting that. There’s not one way. There’s a variety of ways that people are going to eat and it’s going to look. But what I would say is just, how does the energy feel? I feel like that might be a more helpful lens too, than like the specifics of, they’re eating ice cream every day for breakfast. Or they’re never eating ice cream or they’re never having soda or whatever the thing is, how’s the energy? Because what I know from my family and some people find this hard to believe, but you can ask my kids. They’re old. They’ve been there a long time. The energy around food was just, we love food.

Like, let’s find good, amazing food and enjoy it. And so, it just had a feel of, we can have all kinds of amazing food that we love, and there was never a scarcity.

And I think checking that energy. And I would say, that’s not what I felt growing up, because there was some shame around eating and some, you know, Oh, don’t eat. And I mean, bless, my mom just turned 90. She still talks about her weight. So, I grew up with that and that’s what I didn’t want. It wasn’t about the specific foods. I just wanted an energy of, we can eat delicious foods and feel good and love our bodies and know our bodies.

ERIKA: So, as my kids got bigger, it seemed like they narrowed in on, “These are the few things that we want to eat right now.” And it gets a little bit frustrating for me when I know all the abundant foods in the world and they’re just doing this narrowing, but I think it’s probably just a phase of growth too. But one thing that really helped us was food TikTokers. So, to see people quickly making foods. Oliver started showing me, “Doesn’t this look amazing?” And then we could make it, things like that. We got one of those recipe box deliveries, where you pick out the recipes and then they send you the food.

So, we tried that for a little while just to kind of mix things up and both kids liked seeing the photo of the food and it had a name to it. And it was just a little bit different, a little more like, “Oh, we’re at a restaurant,” like, “Oh, this is something that has been designed to be really delicious,” or whatever.

And so, things like that have helped us to expand what’s possible or what they’re interested in. It’s cute to watch them grow up. I’m just having the best time with it. And recently, Oliver just said, “I was so hungry and daddy gave me leftovers and there was a lot of beans and rice and I just ate it all.”

I don’t know if he had ever even tried it before, but in this new growing phase, he’s just like, I need some food. And so, he’s just much more willing to try anything. And so, he was like, “And I think I really like it. I’ve been thinking about beans and rice a lot lately.” Rather than when he was little, if I had said, “This is good for you. I want you to eat beans and rice. You have to try some beans,” if that had been the path, I just feel like the experience would be so different and he wouldn’t have that kind of realization and the ownership and deciding for himself, like, “Okay, this is a food that’s now on my list of foods I like.” And so, yeah, it’s really fun.

PAM: I think, too, even as they’re narrowing in, the huge difference is it’s even with that abundance mindset in that they know it’s a choice. It’s not because these are my only options. It’s not the scarcity mindset of it. It’s the abundance. “Of all the things that I could choose, these are the five that I want for the next six months.” Or however long. But yeah, it’s just a completely different energy, as Anna was talking about. Just consider the energy around food and that, I think, will be a great guide as you’re starting to play with things.

And just with older kids now, that was reminding me, Erika, as your kids were playing with the food meal boxes and all the different things, I see right now to that playful attitude is also transferring and helping with my grown kids now cooking their own food. They have made food along the way. And just over the years, as they have taken that on more and more, that playful, open, abundant kind of attitude has also helped them as they’ve been transitioning to adult lives or whatever, as they’re taking on more of the food prep as well for themselves.

So, it comes with that whole mindset. I think the whole ethos of them growing up where, we can figure things out, we can play with things. There’s no judgment of one thing as better than the other. There’s lots of conversations. They even check in. They’re okay with saying, “Ew. I didn’t like that. Next time when I make it, I’m going to do this,” and we’re okay with asking, “How did you like that?” if we made something and getting feedback from them. It’s not judgmental, or you did something wrong, but it’s for that person, that person’s taste, because people’s taste for salt, people’s taste for spices, all those pieces are really how people are different.

And that just made me think, as we started unschooling that first year or two, where we ended up with food for a very long time, and I would say even still now, was that our meals became more kind of like, we would just put out different things. We wouldn’t mix everything together and, “Here’s your one meal.” We wouldn’t make plates for each other. I would put out a variety of things and be sure that there were other things for the vegetarian, Lissy, to have that weren’t meat-based. And if somebody doesn’t like this, but somebody else really loves this. We’re going to have this, but we’re going to have something else. So, it’s not like I’m making three different meals. It’s like when I’m coming up with a meal, I’ve got like three or four different pieces to it, but I keep them separate, so people can pick and choose what they want. And then they can add more things that they know are around the kitchen, et cetera. But to put it more potluck-ish, so that people still had the choices right then and there as to what they felt like eating out of a few options that were there really helped with not bringing judgment to it, because there were options. It also really helped with the people are different and, “Yeah, your sibling grabbed this thing and you grabbed this thing and, oh geez, everybody went for that. We’ll make more of that next time.” It just really, again, helps the energy be more open and playful around the whole food experience, I think.

ANNA: Yeah. I’ve talked on the Network before about those adaptable meals, where it was like, okay, we can take this sauce off, add onion separately. But again, with no weight about it. It’s just like, yeah, we all like different things and they see me grabbing different things than David grabs and they grab different things. And so, I love that.

And we tended to do that type of adaptable meals for dinner. For lunch, sometimes it was completely different. This one wanted this and I’m making this thing. And then, they want this and they want to heat this up from yesterday. And so, again, I just didn’t want any weight around it. I just wanted it to be like, we eat because we enjoy eating and it fuels our body. And it doesn’t have to have the weight that it can have that, that I’ve had to shed for a long time.

ERIKA: I was just thinking that to be able to have a childhood where it’s okay to say that you don’t like a food, that in itself is such an amazing gift. Because, I mean, I get it, because the adults are the ones who are buying the groceries, trying to figure out what works, preparing the food, and so, it can be hard to hear, “Yeah, this doesn’t taste good to me.” But if we are open and curious, really focusing on learning about the different people in our family, then it’s really good information and they’re learning about themselves and they’re feeling comfortable enough to share with us what they’re learning about themselves. And then, the next time we have a chance to make it even better.

And so, I just think that’s amazing. And I also wanted to mention just the seasons in our own lives. Just like we were talking about with the expectations of this self regulation, there is not an end point you will get to in life where we figure out the diet that works period, because our bodies change over time. Their bodies are growing and changing over time.

And so, just to view it in this long game, this food journey, that we’re all individually on, I feel like it’s much more expansive. It’s much more abundant. It’s much less judgmental. It’s so much more about just right now and how my body is right now, what is working well for me, and not extending that to what is going to work well for anyone else. And it helps me and my family avoid arguments and conflict and everything if we all are really free to be where we are with our eating.

PAM: Okay. I want to grab from what both of you were just talking about, because I love that bigger picture, longer seasons, things change over time, and tying that to you talking, Anna, about, “I just make this lunch and this lunch,” because we did the same thing. Breakfast and lunch were just kind of, what would you like? What would you like?

And so, when you take that lens of the big picture and you put it to your day, time also doesn’t need to control it. So, the reason breakfasts and lunches were just, what would you like? and grabbing you something, was because they weren’t often all hungry at the same time. I wasn’t hungry at the same time that they were hungry. I was hungry when I first got up, so I ate something. And then when they got up, some were hungry immediately, some wanted to eat later.

And then, even though I made that adaptable-meal dinner, there was also not specifically a time component that said, “Okay, now you need to stop what you’re doing and come. Now, I would definitely go around. We’d have conversations, “Oh, I wish I knew that dinner was ready because I like to eat it hot,” or whatever. So, I would always walk around and say, “Hey, food’s ready when you’re hungry. Food’s ready if you can take a break.” And to this day, I still go to my husband, “Food’s ready! I’m going to eat now.” He always comes and joins me, unless it’s the odd time, if there’s something that he’s right in the middle of doing, et cetera.

But so often, they did all come within five, 10 minutes, but it wasn’t an expectation. If the odd time they were busy with something, totally. If they were super busy with something and they said right away, “I can’t come,” it’s like, “Want me to make a plate and bring it to you? Do you want this, this, and this?” My guess, out of what was there, that they might like.

So, yeah, that whole long season, long term, seasonal changes with food. Also, that time component, really within your day, too. Right? That the timing of when people are hungry and what they might be fancying can be very different and we can adapt with that as well. I thought that was really cool to think about.

ERIKA: It can’t really be intuitive eating if we have to eat at a certain time, you know? Yeah, I love that.

ANNA: But I think it’s a good in terms of this “rules” episode to think that some people think that unschoolers never eat together and we actually did. I would say 80% of the time, we had our dinner together at a table, but it was kind of like you’re saying. I would just check in. If they were in busy with something, no big deal. We eat. I bring a plate. Something else. But so often, it was just a time we enjoyed being together and doing it, but it never had that weight.

So again, I feel like so many of these things are, what’s the energy like? Is it creating conflict? Like you were talking about, Erika, you don’t have that conflict because they’re able to say, “I don’t like this. This doesn’t work.” And so, what’s the energy like around those meals? Because a forced family dinner, ugh. That doesn’t feel good. And so, I think it’s just keeping all that in mind, but it’s going to look different in each family.

PAM: Yeah, just to jump off that for a quick, hot minute. The idea of the family dinners, that is another conventional idea that, “Oh, yes, you must bring your family together for a meal and put the devices away,” and all those pieces. And absolutely that comes from a very well-meaning place, because parents are off at work. Kids are off at school. You don’t have time to be together, to engage with each other, to talk, because then you’re doing homework and then you’re doing go to bed routine. It is kind of the one time of the day when everybody can talk to each other.

Yet when you just take a moment to say, ah, but we’re not living that lifestyle. We are at home together. We can choose to talk to each other when something comes up, when we connect, when we go in and check in on them, when they come out to share something interesting. We’re connecting at various points all throughout the day. So, there isn’t that focus on this is the one time when we can talk to each other, so we must sit down and eat together.

So, it’s not about saying that that’s wrong. It’s about saying, oh, that doesn’t fit with the lifestyle that we have. We don’t need that tool to maintain connection and relationship with our kids.

ANNA: And so, then it becomes about the choice, right? And so, then it’s like, maybe sometimes that still works. And so, from the outside, maybe it looks like, oh, they have this conventional dinner, but when in fact, it’s not at all that. It really is just like, we have the choice and this is what’s working for this season or for this time, and so I love just looking at those cultural pieces. Are they serving your family? Are they making things better? Or is it creating this rub or this weight or something that you’re carrying around that’s making you feel bad?

ERIKA: I’m giggling because I’m just thinking about our family dinners, which are don’t usually happen family style, but it’s so funny. So, Oliver is gigantic and eats super fast, so he can get back to what he’s doing. He’s always very busy. And so he, you know, we just all know if he’s he comes to the table, he eats. It takes about 5 seconds and he’s gone. That’s what it feels like Maya takes her time, but she loves to eat alone.

And so, the only real chance for us all to eat together is for us to have some meal that we all like, which that alone is kind of unusual. So, we have this food we all like. We have to not tell Oliver to get to the table until the right moment. We have to plan it just right. Get Maya to the table. Don’t tell Oliver yet. We get there, Josh and I sit down all of our foods ready, so Josh will be like, “Look! We’re all together!” And it’s like this little snapshot of it. But it’s funny and, right, we just have so much time together that there’s no weight on that happening. It’s just this funny little lightning moment of, we were all eating together! And then it’s over again.

ANNA: I love that. Okay. So, this was really fun. I think we’re never going to cover all that needs to be covered about food, because it’s evolving and people bring different things to it. And then that reminds me, join us in the Network, because we’ve had some amazing talks about food. We’ve had snack plate pictures and all the different creative ways people bring food into their life. Parents that are struggling to even make food and talking about that. So, I love that community aspect of people that are blowing the lid off and looking at it differently, being able to share insights and really have just beautiful conversations that don’t have the weight of those cultural expectations.

So, join us in the Living Joyfully Network. That would be a lot of fun, but I really appreciate you both and just all of this fun conversation about food and the “rules” that may not be serving us.

PAM: Thanks so much!

ANNA: All right. Take care. Bye bye.

PAM AND ERIKA: Bye!

  continue reading

319 jaksoa

Artwork
iconJaa
 
Manage episode 388048286 series 2364818
Sisällön tarjoaa Pam Laricchia. Pam Laricchia tai sen podcast-alustan kumppani lataa ja toimittaa kaiken podcast-sisällön, mukaan lukien jaksot, grafiikat ja podcast-kuvaukset. Jos uskot jonkun käyttävän tekijänoikeudella suojattua teostasi ilman lupaasi, voit seurata tässä https://fi.player.fm/legal kuvattua prosessia.

We’re back with another episode in our Unschooling “Rules” series. And we use the word “rules” in quotes to draw attention to the fact that there is no such thing as an unschooling rule!

It can feel easier to reach for a set of rules to follow, especially when we’re learning something new, but we want to offer you space to look within, to find what makes sense to you and what makes sense to the individual members of your family. There are no unschooling police. Nobody is going to drop by your house and give you a failing grade—or an A+. Our goal with this series is to explore these apparent “rules” and cultivate an environment for self-discovery, for inquiry, for agency, and for growth.

In this episode, we’re diving into some common beliefs and misconceptions that people have about unschooling and food. We all bring with us a lot of societal messages and personal experiences with food when we become parents. And for many of us, the unschooling journey offers us a chance to unpack some of those underlying beliefs and expectations and to create a healthier relationship with food for ourselves and for our children.

It was really fun to discuss this topic and we hope you find our conversation helpful on your unschooling journey!

THINGS WE MENTION IN THIS EPISODE

The Living Joyfully Shop

Navigating Family Gatherings Focus Course

Just in time for the busy holiday season, we have released a focus course on the Living Joyfully Shop called Navigating Family Gatherings! In this four-week course, Pam and Anna share mindset shifts and practical strategies for making family gatherings a positive experience for you and your loved ones, and leave you feeling empowered and looking forward to your family gatherings rather than dreading them. Check it out!

The Living Joyfully Network

Watch the video of our conversation on YouTube.

Follow @exploringunschooling on Instagram.

Follow @pamlaricchia on Instagram and Facebook.

Follow @helloerikaellis on Instagram.

Check out our website, livingjoyfully.ca for more information about navigating relationships and exploring unschooling.

Sign up to our mailing list to receive The Living Joyfully Dispatch, our biweekly email newsletter, and get a free copy of Pam’s intro to unschooling ebook, What is Unschooling?

We invite you to join us in The Living Joyfully Network, a wonderful online community for parents to connect and engage in candid conversations about living and learning through the lens of unschooling. Our theme this month is In the Flow, and we’re exploring it through the lenses of parenting and living.

So much of what we talk about on this podcast and in the Living Joyfully Network isn’t actually about unschooling. It’s about life. On The Living Joyfully Podcast, Anna Brown and Pam Laricchia talk about life, relationships, and parenting. You can check out the archive here, or find it in your your favorite podcast player.

EPISODE TRANSCRIPT

ANNA: Hello, everyone. I am Anna Brown with Living Joyfully, and we are so glad you have joined us for this episode of the Exploring Unschooling Podcast. I am joined by my co-hosts Pam Laricchia and Erika Ellis. Welcome to you both!

PAM AND ERIKA: Hi!

ANNA: I wanted to mention one of the new Focus Courses we have available at the Living Joyfully Shop. It’s called Navigating Family Gatherings. It’s kind of a timely topic for this season for many of us, and we will continue to be adding things to the shop. So, we’d just love it if you could pop in there periodically and see what’s new and share it. You can follow the link in the show notes or you can go to livingjoyfullyshop.com.

But before we get started, we wanted to remind everyone that with this Unschooling “Rules” series, we use the word rules in quotes to draw attention to the fact that they’re no such thing as a rule, not when it comes to unschooling for sure.

It can feel easier to reach for that set of rules to follow, especially when we’re learning something new, but we want to offer you the space to look within, to find what makes sense to you and what makes sense to the individual members of your family. There are no unschooling police. Nobody is going to drop by your house and give you a failing grade or the A+. Our goal with this series is to explore these apparent rules that are floating around and cultivate an environment for self discovery, inquiry, agency and growth. And we’re going to change up our format a bit and just have an open discussion about the topic area. And I think it’s going to be a lively, fun conversation because we’re going to be talking about food. Erika, do you want to get us started?

ERIKA: Okay! So, I’m excited. We decided to call this episode Unschooling “Rules”: About Food, because I don’t think there is even one particular food role that comes to mind when we think of unschooling, but there are a lot of beliefs, fears, misconceptions that people have. And it is a topic that people are asking about all the time. And so, I thought we could start out with sharing what some of those beliefs are.

And so, I’ll just list off a couple and then we’ll go from there. So, here’s a few that I’ve heard over the years. The first one goes, if kids can eat whatever they choose, they’ll only eat ice cream. Or fill in the blank, whatever the thing is that feels the scariest. Kids cannot be trusted to know what their bodies need. We, as adults, need to pass along what we’ve learned to them so that they can be healthier than we were when we were kids. Kids should eat how we’ve learned works well for us to eat. And also that unschoolers must just not care much about physical health. If they’re letting their kids eat what they want, what they choose to eat, physical health must not be important.

ANNA: They just don’t care at all. I think we’ve all heard all of those and more when people are just first diving into this.

PAM: Oh, yeah, I think it’s so interesting to think about those and I would love to hear, in the comments below or whatever, what rules come to mind for you. And even though we’re giggling here, that’s because we have spent lots of time processing through this, because this is a huge conventional wisdom piece.

And it comes down to that last one you were talking about that, oh, we must not care about our kids. But no, it’s a different way of thinking about it. And I think we’re going to bring that same analysis that we bring to all our Unschooling “Rules” episodes in that, oh, you know what? People really are so very different. People’s bodies function so very different. And when we can start to look through that lens and just have conversations with each other, we can start to just pick that apart, peel back those layers, because people are different.

It’s not hard to get someone to say yes to that right off the bat, but the depth to that is incredible. It applies to everything from relationships, to food, to sleep, to how we like to engage with the world, to how we react to constraints. Everything is wrapped up in how people are different.

We’re talking about food. So, we can say, “Eating this way feels good to me. My body feels really good.” We can hold that completely. That is our truth. And yet, also, we can hold that I don’t need to tell everybody else, my partner, my best friend, my children, that, “Oh my gosh, I’m feeling so good eating this way. You should do this too.” It’s like when you first get to unschooling, you go, “My gosh! Everybody should unschool! Because it’s working really well. I’m really excited about it.” To be able to hold that, unschooling is really exciting. This way of eating is really exciting and working really well for me. And yet, it may be different for other people. It may be different for other families. To be able to hold those together, that, for me, is the first step.

Because once you get to that point, then you can shift to being open and curious and learning about our kids and food and how it feels to them and supporting them in their choices.

It’s like journeying alongside them, I think. And it’s a funny thing. My kids didn’t have too much weight around food. I didn’t find unschooling until they were a little bit older, but I wasn’t overly judgmental about food, even when they were younger.

But to realize that, oh, I can also discard a lot of the weight that I’ve been carrying around about the messages that I grew up with and that I was getting from society in general. I was like a newbie on this journey alongside them. So, I was exploring food, learning what felt good, all those pieces, and, like we were talking about in the last episode, it changes over time, and I learn more.

It’s not something where I’m looking for the answer, and this is the way I want to eat forever, and then judging myself if I eat in a different way or change something up. It’s more about understanding ourselves and figuring out what’s working for us and exploring and playing and just having all those interesting things.

Ice cream for breakfast is not going to hurt anyone. Ice cream for breakfast for a week, for a month, is not going to hurt, but it’s exploring that and having the conversations. That’s where the learning is, in the conversations. And if there’s judgment, people don’t want to have conversations with you. Like, “Oh, my gosh, you did what? Oh, you must feel horrible!” If somebody said that to me, I wouldn’t want to have a conversation with them about it.

ANNA: And I think that’s the piece that I want to talk about, because you kind of said like, Oh, keep it to yourself. And I don’t think that’s exactly what you meant, but, but that’s not how we did it. I did share my journey with food, because I had some really unhealthy messages given to me as a child. And so, this journey with food has been a long, long one for me to figure out my body, how I want to move, what fuels it, what feels good, all of those pieces. And I am very open with that.

The difference is I don’t think at all that it would necessarily apply to anyone else. But what I think is valuable about the conversations, because in my family, with my kids and my husband, we always talk about food and what feels good to us and how we want to do things, because I think the conversation is interesting. It does give us this mind of like, what does feel good for me? How does this feel? What do I feel about this? We’re able to have conversations, because for me, it was such a valuable piece of my path that I didn’t want to keep it from them, because I think that’s where we can go to the hands off.

We can go to like, just don’t give them any information at all. And I just really am a believer that people want information. And what I saw with my kids is that they eat very differently. One will never eat fruit, still to this day. One loves fruit and this one loves vegetables and this one loves this. And it’s so different how they do it.

There was no judgment about that. It was just like, does this feel good to you? And a lot of it was textures and a lot of it was about energy.

And I loved in a previous episode where, Erika, you were talking about how candy felt different in Maya’s body at different times, like she craved it and wanted it. And I’m thinking, wow, think of how she’s growing and the energy she needed to do things and candy and sugar is a fast energy. So, those kinds of conversations I think are interesting. And so, I think for people, it, it’s not about not sharing information. It’s about keeping that judgment out of it.

PAM: Yeah. When I was talking about journey alongside each other, I meant in conversation and sharing that journey and telling each other, oh, like, “I’m really craving this,” or, “I’m really interested in this and I want to explore this,” and how it felt. Yes, absolutely. That is what I was trying to get to what I talked about journeying alongside each other together.

Because yeah, that is so much of what’s come out of all these Unschooling “Rules” episodes and specifically that Self Regulation one, our last episode that we were talking about. It’s in the conversations. It’s in being together where we all learn pieces, where we can process and bounce ideas off each other and just really dig into it and be curious without the judgment piece.

But information is awesome. With my kids, something that was I found different as they grew up with their peers was that the “people are different” idea was really the lens through which they saw the world and their friends.

There weren’t those judgment pieces. There weren’t the expectations that other people were doing it the right way, the one way, because that’s the way they grew up. How you do things is okay. And that’s working well for you. And that’s really cool. And somebody else is making different choices and that is just as cool. There’s no judgment as to one better than the other. And to be able to even just take that idea with you as you move on into the world and how you relate to friends and all those different pieces, that has been something that has stood out for me over time,

ERIKA: When I’m looking at these beliefs, it’s these cultural messages that have been ingrained for our whole lives.

And so, it makes sense that these are challenging, when we first come to unschooling, especially, and as our kids go through seasons of eating different things if it looks different than what our beliefs are telling us it should look like.

I wanted to go back to the one about if kids can eat whatever they choose, that they’ll only choose ice cream or chips or candy or something like that. And so, I feel like this one is such a popular belief because so many people are going from really extreme controlling of food. And so, if that has been your culture in your family up until this point, and then you decide now, my kids can choose, they’re going to choose the things that they didn’t have access to before. That’s just human nature.

And so, I feel like, in a way, yes, this happens. It happens for a while. It happens until they really do have choice. And then, like with my example of Maya and the candy, there are seasons to it as well. And so, I do think it’s interesting and important to notice, what are you coming from? What are your kids’ internalized beliefs about food? Do they think they really have a choice? How limited have they been in the past? And then really look at that “It seems like they only want to eat ice cream” moment for what it is, which is a human being who wants to choose the thing that they have never been allowed to have before.

PAM: I do like that, because that is such a valuable lens, because especially when restrictions are being released, it’s not so much about the choice that they’re making, it’s the fact that they have the choice. It’s like, oh, now I can choose this thing. Can I still choose this thing an hour from now? Can I still choose this thing tomorrow? They’re going to keep choosing that or don’t be surprised if they choose to keep choosing that until it really feels like a choice that they have that will not be taken away from them. “If I choose it one more time, will you finally decide that we’re going to put restrictions back in place?” And it works with food and it works with tech use. And it just works with anything that is previously restricted, because it’s human nature when something has been restricted. “I can do this now?!”

ANNA: And to test it, because kids want to make sense of things, so they’re going to test that. “Where is the limit? Ice cream for a month? Is that the limit? Is it every meal? Is that the limit?” But something that just keeps popping up to me as we’re talking, I really think the release of judgment is probably the most important piece, because we can think about all different aspects. So, it’s the particular food, it’s the time they eat, the whatever, but I’m also thinking, so I was what was called the picky eater. I had a very limited diet when I was younger. It involved a lot of potatoes in all forms and I think there were times my parents worried about how restricted my diet was, but they really never said anything about it. And what’s interesting now is, as an adult, I understand looking back that it was certain textures. It was certain things that just didn’t work for me.

And now, I have this incredibly varied diet of things that I love. I know different things that I didn’t have access to when I was a kid. And so, I think it’s just not about judging. Because I’ve seen families who are like, “You have to try everything on your plate. I want you to be this well rounded eater,” but back to people are different.

We don’t know how that food is being experienced, spicy versus not spicy, textures, salty versus sweet. We don’t know what that even feels like to another person.

And so, I think that trust and just letting go of that judgment, we just learn so much more. I feel like my parents probably could have done that. I don’t think they shamed me about my eating, but I don’t think they also asked a lot of questions where I probably could have said, “I just think mushrooms are gross. And so, I don’t want to eat that thing that’s smothered in mushrooms.” But we didn’t have those conversations, but I feel like I did with my girls and that we would talk about, “What is it you don’t like about fruit?” “Okay, this is what it is,” and then we could figure out different things. I don’t know. I think letting go of the judgment and having that curiosity leads to so much learning.

ERIKA: Yeah. The letting go of judgment is not easy, because of the culture and just how deeply ingrained it gets. And so, I think that is like a really big part of the journey is just intentionally trying to release that, learning new and different things about food that you didn’t realize before, learning things about child development, and trusting that you cannot know someone else’s internal experience. And so, we really just have to believe people when they say it doesn’t work for them for whatever reason, whether it’s just it makes them feel more comforted to eat foods like that or it’s a texture thing like you’re saying. I mean, there can be so many reasons.

And when kids are young, they won’t even be able to describe, necessarily, how it’s bothering them. Maybe it’s even making them feel sick. They just can’t even describe what that is. And so, for something like food, it’s a shame that there are such strong beliefs about what is right and what is good, because that can distract us from really listening to the only person who knows what this experience is like, which is the person who’s eating the food.

ANNA: Right, and not to be dramatic, but I think that can lead to disordered eating in that we’re not listening to what’s working for us. We’re either being influenced by this outside voice or being shamed about what we’re eating. And so, it just disconnects us from what actually works for ourselves.

PAM: Yeah, and I think for me, when I was starting to feel that worry rise or things, it wasn’t about stuffing that down or saying, “Oh, I’m an unschooler. I shouldn’t worry about that stuff.” But for me, it was more information like, what are other possibilities?

I came across intuitive eating, the idea of that, the concept of that, as I was looking into diets, looking for the best way to eat. When I could get more information, that really helped me see that, oh, yeah, this is the conventional story that I am hearing regularly, but there are other stories and other things are working for other people that open things up.

When I think about all the many, many different pieces of our food journey, they include being vegetarian for many, many years and include Type 1 diabetes and all these different pieces and textures, likes, dislikes, all those things just alongside. For me, what really helped me move through those, looking back, was just coming at it with a lens of abundance versus scarcity. That lens of abundance, if somebody had a texture thing, it’s like, “Oh, that’s really curious,” and thinking about other things maybe with that same texture or without that texture.

So, it was always about bringing more possibilities in if they were feeling that they didn’t like certain things. I didn’t want them to think, “Okay, yeah, sure. I don’t want to make you eat that. I’m not going to make you eat that, but we’ve got a peanut butter sandwich here for you. That’s your other choice.” So, to have that abundance really just helped us play so much more and be so much more relaxed around food.

ANNA: It’s so funny how, like, our brains are so similar in that way, because abundance was exactly what came to mind for me in kind of a different angle. For me, food is medicine. I don’t really participate in Western medicine. And so, the food I eat is important to me and it was important and it was something that we talked about in my family. But it was with that lens of abundance. And that makes all the difference, because there was never anyone feeling like they didn’t have the sweet they wanted, the salt they wanted, the variety they wanted, the everything they wanted. We would just find a way.

So, I think it can be so unique to every family. So again, there’s not one way for this to look. So, I hope everybody’s getting that. There’s not one way. There’s a variety of ways that people are going to eat and it’s going to look. But what I would say is just, how does the energy feel? I feel like that might be a more helpful lens too, than like the specifics of, they’re eating ice cream every day for breakfast. Or they’re never eating ice cream or they’re never having soda or whatever the thing is, how’s the energy? Because what I know from my family and some people find this hard to believe, but you can ask my kids. They’re old. They’ve been there a long time. The energy around food was just, we love food.

Like, let’s find good, amazing food and enjoy it. And so, it just had a feel of, we can have all kinds of amazing food that we love, and there was never a scarcity.

And I think checking that energy. And I would say, that’s not what I felt growing up, because there was some shame around eating and some, you know, Oh, don’t eat. And I mean, bless, my mom just turned 90. She still talks about her weight. So, I grew up with that and that’s what I didn’t want. It wasn’t about the specific foods. I just wanted an energy of, we can eat delicious foods and feel good and love our bodies and know our bodies.

ERIKA: So, as my kids got bigger, it seemed like they narrowed in on, “These are the few things that we want to eat right now.” And it gets a little bit frustrating for me when I know all the abundant foods in the world and they’re just doing this narrowing, but I think it’s probably just a phase of growth too. But one thing that really helped us was food TikTokers. So, to see people quickly making foods. Oliver started showing me, “Doesn’t this look amazing?” And then we could make it, things like that. We got one of those recipe box deliveries, where you pick out the recipes and then they send you the food.

So, we tried that for a little while just to kind of mix things up and both kids liked seeing the photo of the food and it had a name to it. And it was just a little bit different, a little more like, “Oh, we’re at a restaurant,” like, “Oh, this is something that has been designed to be really delicious,” or whatever.

And so, things like that have helped us to expand what’s possible or what they’re interested in. It’s cute to watch them grow up. I’m just having the best time with it. And recently, Oliver just said, “I was so hungry and daddy gave me leftovers and there was a lot of beans and rice and I just ate it all.”

I don’t know if he had ever even tried it before, but in this new growing phase, he’s just like, I need some food. And so, he’s just much more willing to try anything. And so, he was like, “And I think I really like it. I’ve been thinking about beans and rice a lot lately.” Rather than when he was little, if I had said, “This is good for you. I want you to eat beans and rice. You have to try some beans,” if that had been the path, I just feel like the experience would be so different and he wouldn’t have that kind of realization and the ownership and deciding for himself, like, “Okay, this is a food that’s now on my list of foods I like.” And so, yeah, it’s really fun.

PAM: I think, too, even as they’re narrowing in, the huge difference is it’s even with that abundance mindset in that they know it’s a choice. It’s not because these are my only options. It’s not the scarcity mindset of it. It’s the abundance. “Of all the things that I could choose, these are the five that I want for the next six months.” Or however long. But yeah, it’s just a completely different energy, as Anna was talking about. Just consider the energy around food and that, I think, will be a great guide as you’re starting to play with things.

And just with older kids now, that was reminding me, Erika, as your kids were playing with the food meal boxes and all the different things, I see right now to that playful attitude is also transferring and helping with my grown kids now cooking their own food. They have made food along the way. And just over the years, as they have taken that on more and more, that playful, open, abundant kind of attitude has also helped them as they’ve been transitioning to adult lives or whatever, as they’re taking on more of the food prep as well for themselves.

So, it comes with that whole mindset. I think the whole ethos of them growing up where, we can figure things out, we can play with things. There’s no judgment of one thing as better than the other. There’s lots of conversations. They even check in. They’re okay with saying, “Ew. I didn’t like that. Next time when I make it, I’m going to do this,” and we’re okay with asking, “How did you like that?” if we made something and getting feedback from them. It’s not judgmental, or you did something wrong, but it’s for that person, that person’s taste, because people’s taste for salt, people’s taste for spices, all those pieces are really how people are different.

And that just made me think, as we started unschooling that first year or two, where we ended up with food for a very long time, and I would say even still now, was that our meals became more kind of like, we would just put out different things. We wouldn’t mix everything together and, “Here’s your one meal.” We wouldn’t make plates for each other. I would put out a variety of things and be sure that there were other things for the vegetarian, Lissy, to have that weren’t meat-based. And if somebody doesn’t like this, but somebody else really loves this. We’re going to have this, but we’re going to have something else. So, it’s not like I’m making three different meals. It’s like when I’m coming up with a meal, I’ve got like three or four different pieces to it, but I keep them separate, so people can pick and choose what they want. And then they can add more things that they know are around the kitchen, et cetera. But to put it more potluck-ish, so that people still had the choices right then and there as to what they felt like eating out of a few options that were there really helped with not bringing judgment to it, because there were options. It also really helped with the people are different and, “Yeah, your sibling grabbed this thing and you grabbed this thing and, oh geez, everybody went for that. We’ll make more of that next time.” It just really, again, helps the energy be more open and playful around the whole food experience, I think.

ANNA: Yeah. I’ve talked on the Network before about those adaptable meals, where it was like, okay, we can take this sauce off, add onion separately. But again, with no weight about it. It’s just like, yeah, we all like different things and they see me grabbing different things than David grabs and they grab different things. And so, I love that.

And we tended to do that type of adaptable meals for dinner. For lunch, sometimes it was completely different. This one wanted this and I’m making this thing. And then, they want this and they want to heat this up from yesterday. And so, again, I just didn’t want any weight around it. I just wanted it to be like, we eat because we enjoy eating and it fuels our body. And it doesn’t have to have the weight that it can have that, that I’ve had to shed for a long time.

ERIKA: I was just thinking that to be able to have a childhood where it’s okay to say that you don’t like a food, that in itself is such an amazing gift. Because, I mean, I get it, because the adults are the ones who are buying the groceries, trying to figure out what works, preparing the food, and so, it can be hard to hear, “Yeah, this doesn’t taste good to me.” But if we are open and curious, really focusing on learning about the different people in our family, then it’s really good information and they’re learning about themselves and they’re feeling comfortable enough to share with us what they’re learning about themselves. And then, the next time we have a chance to make it even better.

And so, I just think that’s amazing. And I also wanted to mention just the seasons in our own lives. Just like we were talking about with the expectations of this self regulation, there is not an end point you will get to in life where we figure out the diet that works period, because our bodies change over time. Their bodies are growing and changing over time.

And so, just to view it in this long game, this food journey, that we’re all individually on, I feel like it’s much more expansive. It’s much more abundant. It’s much less judgmental. It’s so much more about just right now and how my body is right now, what is working well for me, and not extending that to what is going to work well for anyone else. And it helps me and my family avoid arguments and conflict and everything if we all are really free to be where we are with our eating.

PAM: Okay. I want to grab from what both of you were just talking about, because I love that bigger picture, longer seasons, things change over time, and tying that to you talking, Anna, about, “I just make this lunch and this lunch,” because we did the same thing. Breakfast and lunch were just kind of, what would you like? What would you like?

And so, when you take that lens of the big picture and you put it to your day, time also doesn’t need to control it. So, the reason breakfasts and lunches were just, what would you like? and grabbing you something, was because they weren’t often all hungry at the same time. I wasn’t hungry at the same time that they were hungry. I was hungry when I first got up, so I ate something. And then when they got up, some were hungry immediately, some wanted to eat later.

And then, even though I made that adaptable-meal dinner, there was also not specifically a time component that said, “Okay, now you need to stop what you’re doing and come. Now, I would definitely go around. We’d have conversations, “Oh, I wish I knew that dinner was ready because I like to eat it hot,” or whatever. So, I would always walk around and say, “Hey, food’s ready when you’re hungry. Food’s ready if you can take a break.” And to this day, I still go to my husband, “Food’s ready! I’m going to eat now.” He always comes and joins me, unless it’s the odd time, if there’s something that he’s right in the middle of doing, et cetera.

But so often, they did all come within five, 10 minutes, but it wasn’t an expectation. If the odd time they were busy with something, totally. If they were super busy with something and they said right away, “I can’t come,” it’s like, “Want me to make a plate and bring it to you? Do you want this, this, and this?” My guess, out of what was there, that they might like.

So, yeah, that whole long season, long term, seasonal changes with food. Also, that time component, really within your day, too. Right? That the timing of when people are hungry and what they might be fancying can be very different and we can adapt with that as well. I thought that was really cool to think about.

ERIKA: It can’t really be intuitive eating if we have to eat at a certain time, you know? Yeah, I love that.

ANNA: But I think it’s a good in terms of this “rules” episode to think that some people think that unschoolers never eat together and we actually did. I would say 80% of the time, we had our dinner together at a table, but it was kind of like you’re saying. I would just check in. If they were in busy with something, no big deal. We eat. I bring a plate. Something else. But so often, it was just a time we enjoyed being together and doing it, but it never had that weight.

So again, I feel like so many of these things are, what’s the energy like? Is it creating conflict? Like you were talking about, Erika, you don’t have that conflict because they’re able to say, “I don’t like this. This doesn’t work.” And so, what’s the energy like around those meals? Because a forced family dinner, ugh. That doesn’t feel good. And so, I think it’s just keeping all that in mind, but it’s going to look different in each family.

PAM: Yeah, just to jump off that for a quick, hot minute. The idea of the family dinners, that is another conventional idea that, “Oh, yes, you must bring your family together for a meal and put the devices away,” and all those pieces. And absolutely that comes from a very well-meaning place, because parents are off at work. Kids are off at school. You don’t have time to be together, to engage with each other, to talk, because then you’re doing homework and then you’re doing go to bed routine. It is kind of the one time of the day when everybody can talk to each other.

Yet when you just take a moment to say, ah, but we’re not living that lifestyle. We are at home together. We can choose to talk to each other when something comes up, when we connect, when we go in and check in on them, when they come out to share something interesting. We’re connecting at various points all throughout the day. So, there isn’t that focus on this is the one time when we can talk to each other, so we must sit down and eat together.

So, it’s not about saying that that’s wrong. It’s about saying, oh, that doesn’t fit with the lifestyle that we have. We don’t need that tool to maintain connection and relationship with our kids.

ANNA: And so, then it becomes about the choice, right? And so, then it’s like, maybe sometimes that still works. And so, from the outside, maybe it looks like, oh, they have this conventional dinner, but when in fact, it’s not at all that. It really is just like, we have the choice and this is what’s working for this season or for this time, and so I love just looking at those cultural pieces. Are they serving your family? Are they making things better? Or is it creating this rub or this weight or something that you’re carrying around that’s making you feel bad?

ERIKA: I’m giggling because I’m just thinking about our family dinners, which are don’t usually happen family style, but it’s so funny. So, Oliver is gigantic and eats super fast, so he can get back to what he’s doing. He’s always very busy. And so he, you know, we just all know if he’s he comes to the table, he eats. It takes about 5 seconds and he’s gone. That’s what it feels like Maya takes her time, but she loves to eat alone.

And so, the only real chance for us all to eat together is for us to have some meal that we all like, which that alone is kind of unusual. So, we have this food we all like. We have to not tell Oliver to get to the table until the right moment. We have to plan it just right. Get Maya to the table. Don’t tell Oliver yet. We get there, Josh and I sit down all of our foods ready, so Josh will be like, “Look! We’re all together!” And it’s like this little snapshot of it. But it’s funny and, right, we just have so much time together that there’s no weight on that happening. It’s just this funny little lightning moment of, we were all eating together! And then it’s over again.

ANNA: I love that. Okay. So, this was really fun. I think we’re never going to cover all that needs to be covered about food, because it’s evolving and people bring different things to it. And then that reminds me, join us in the Network, because we’ve had some amazing talks about food. We’ve had snack plate pictures and all the different creative ways people bring food into their life. Parents that are struggling to even make food and talking about that. So, I love that community aspect of people that are blowing the lid off and looking at it differently, being able to share insights and really have just beautiful conversations that don’t have the weight of those cultural expectations.

So, join us in the Living Joyfully Network. That would be a lot of fun, but I really appreciate you both and just all of this fun conversation about food and the “rules” that may not be serving us.

PAM: Thanks so much!

ANNA: All right. Take care. Bye bye.

PAM AND ERIKA: Bye!

  continue reading

319 jaksoa

Kaikki jaksot

×
 
Loading …

Tervetuloa Player FM:n!

Player FM skannaa verkkoa löytääkseen korkealaatuisia podcasteja, joista voit nauttia juuri nyt. Se on paras podcast-sovellus ja toimii Androidilla, iPhonela, ja verkossa. Rekisteröidy sykronoidaksesi tilaukset laitteiden välillä.

 

Pikakäyttöopas