We’re all agreed that there’s no “right” way to do parenting. Honestly, there are a ton of methods out there, and being flexible tends to be the best way to approach the difficult task of bringing up a kid. But one mom has hit the internet this week with her rather unique parenting method – and people don’t know what to make of it…
Gemma Rawnsley lives in the U.K with her husband Lewis, and 7 kids. Skye is thirteen, Finlay is twelve, Phoenix is 9, Pearl is 8, Hunter is 5, Zephyr is 3, and Woolf is 1.
None of the kids go to school, and Gemma and Lewis don’t believe their offspring should follow any rules created by adults. The kids make their own decisions – on what they wear, what they eat, what they get up to during the day, and even what time they go to bed.
Gemma claims this is because she doesn’t want her kids to have to grow up too quickly, and believed that giving them boundaries could prevent them from being kids.
The Rawnsley kids are even permitted to do things typically frowned upon by parents, including swearing, cutting or dyeing their own hair, and even getting piercing and tattoos.
“I make calculated decisions so if something seems dangerous I know it has risk attached, but the benefits are that they learn responsibility,” explains Gemma. “It’s about letting them make decisions, it’s not a feckless attitude where we sit back and let it all happen. It looks like we’re feral, but that’s just one side of us. Feral is left to your own devices, but these kids are brought up to the nth degree.”
Gemma believes her own upbringing led to her strong ideas about parenting. “I didn’t have a stable upbringing. My mission has been about helping my kids have the most interesting, fun, and happy lives in a house filled with the love I never had.” Her aim is to make sure her kids’ lives are, above all else, enjoyable and fun.
Gemma believes that although her kids may be a little behind academically, they have earned way more life experience than other kids their age. The parents have never enforced learning on their kids, either, waiting until their kids ask about something in order to teach them. They even waited until their kids asked to teach them to read and write.
There are three rules for the kids, though. “Don’t lie, don’t be offensive, and don’t hurt anyone.” And Gemma claims that in spite of her unconventional methods, she gets a lot of compliments on her parenting style, her kids’ behavior, and her family bond.
What do you think of this controversial parenting technique? Would you consider raising your kids without any rules?