#44 - Randall Hardy | Breaking Barriers: How to Have a Respectful Approach to Parenting
🗓️ Recorded October 25th, 2023. 📍Playa del Carmen, Mexico
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About this Episode
Randall Hardy joins us for a conversation on the complexities of parenting and the journey to adulthood. Randall shares insights from his own parenting journey; and together, we promise to redefine your understanding of 'childism', family dynamics, and preparing children for adulthood. You'll learn to identify and rectify the problematic ways we sometimes communicate with children and reflect on whether perfection is truly the goal in parenting or simply being 'good' is enough.
We'll take you through a discussion on the challenges modern society presents in nourishing strong family bonds and the implications of mandatory schooling. Randall's perspective on these topics will make you question conventional thinking on parenting and family life. Creating a family-friendly space at home, the significance of family meal times, and the importance of making family time a positively memorable experience are just a few of the many aspects we cover.
This episode doesn't shy away from challenging the status quo of child-rearing norms, from the necessity of children having their own rooms to the assumption that children become the state's responsibility after a certain age.
With a deep dive into the financial implications of schooling and discussions on parental responsibility, we aim to provoke thought and encourage listeners to make informed decisions. Above all, you'll gain an understanding of how our ultimate job as parents is to equip our children with the skills they need to become capable adults, making this episode invaluable for anyone on the intricate path of parenthood.
▬ EPISODE LINKS ▬
- Randall's blog: "No Nationalisation of our Kids": https://northshropshe.wordpress.com/
- HEFF2023 Talk by Randall: https://northshropshe.wordpress.com/2023/08/29/when-governments-are-not-listening/
- Randall is also a team member of The HE Byte – Commenting on the UK EHE political scene: https://he-byte.uk/
- Book recommendation: Michaeleen Doucleff - Hunt, Gather, Parent:
Watch the full interview on YouTube
0:00:00 - Jesper Conrad
Welcome to Self-Directed. We are your hosts, cecilia and Jesper Conrad, and now it's time to welcome this week's guest. It's good to see you again, randall. We have had a chat earlier and for people who haven't heard that episode, I suggest you go back and listen to it, just because it was a really wonderful chat we had, so really good to see you again, randall.
0:00:27 - Randal Hardy
And it's good to see you both of you and I'm glad you made it to Mexico safely.
0:00:32 - Jesper Conrad
One of the things I have been thinking about was that Sunday, the 22nd of October, I had a really wonderful workshop together with some dads. One of the subjects brought forward by one of the dads was something I would like to present here and talk with you about as well, and it is the subject of childism, or ownership, or seeing the child as a slave. And what I mean by that is that if we look at how we talk to children, how we order them around, then we treat them like someone we own, and I would never dare talk to a friend like that, or my wife. I wouldn't feel comfortable in saying to my wife go out and put your shoes on, but for some reason we feel it's okay to do it as parents, and this is something I catch myself in. Even though I believe I'm very open towards understanding how to be a better dad and work with relationships to my children, then from time to time I still see myself ordering them around and, further to unpack, it could be interesting to also talk about the ownership that changes with, for example, when the kids turn 18.
In Denmark we are not legally owning them anymore. Then they can do their own stuff and then, of course, as you are unschooling and we are unschooling, then there's also the talk about when it is no longer the parents' child but the child of the state. So this is some of the areas I would like us to touch about. So if we can go back to the childism and how we talk to children, and if you can share some of your thoughts on this, I think at the start, the obvious starting place is that non of us had perfect parents and they didn't have perfect parents.
0:02:46 - Randal Hardy
So they inherited some good habits and some bad habits and they passed some of those good habits on to us and they probably passed far more of the bad habits on to us as they were bringing us up and all of us had to work through life trying to work out what examples we had when we were little which are good for us and which examples we had which are bad for us and for our children. And you talk to my children and they'll highlight my bad habits when they were little, right, and they occasionally spot the good ones. So I think the first question is are we just trying to be good parents very good parents even or perfect parents? Because if we're trying to be perfect parents, I think we'll fall flat on our face and we'll get frustrated. But if we're trying to be good parents, what would I say is the key to it? And I think for me it's become a bit too late in life in some ways, because I didn't have anybody modelling anything better from that, which goes back to our last conversation about living in a family, and what do we model down the generation? But for me, I know parenting not as a matter of ownership but as a matter of service.
My job as a parent is to prepare, or it was. My kids are now well beyond parenting. The youngest is 28, and about to become a daddy himself, but then that transfers to grandparents. But I'm not doing that. So the job of a parent, I would say, is to equip their children for a capable adult wife, and that is not an easy overnight task. But in Western societies in particular, I don't think we see it like that. But when it comes to parenting with a different idea, you know slightly in the side, but it tells you how we often start off. We had a friend and just after they got married he was insistent that all babies look the same and why. He could not see why parents wanted to take endless photographs of them when they were, just after they were gone, because they all looked the same. What did he do when their first one was born? He took a lot of pictures, took just photographs.
0:05:46 - Cecilie Conrad
0:05:48 - Randal Hardy
Because there's something kicks in. You know something in us about this being our child. And again, last time Cecilia talked about the experience of giving birth actually changes you as a person and gives you a connection as a mother, something which I said as men will never get. But there's still a connection for us dads. But we often see that in all pleasant things. But you know, one of the factors have been at the far end of fatherhood in that sense is children in varying degrees, but all of them actually give parents as much heartache as they do joy on occasions. They are not, we're not perfect parents, they're not perfect children, and we have to negotiate to the world to try and help us both. So I would say, okay, let's say that's my starting place, my job, or father's job, or mother's job. Parents job is to equip their children to live an adult life, and you don't like school. You don't take them all the way through and then give them a diploma at the MC. You've achieved it. You do it incrementally along the way.
One of the things that took the romantic out on me is I never liked baby language. You know what I mean Talking to the kids go, go, go, go, go go. Occasionally, when they were crying at me, I'd cry back at them, but most of the time but a very early thing was when our eldest was crawling. It was time for him to get to go to bed and the house we were in at the time the area where his toy box was, I had two rooms into the two doorways into it, one into the kitchen, one out to the stairs. And I didn't expect him to respond. He was crawling and he had some toys he were playing with and I just said to him Stephen, go and put your toys in the toy box and get ready to go to bed. And this little lad crawled across the floor, put his toys in the toy box and went away to buy the deal. That went to the stairway and I almost fell over backwards. He understood me.
0:08:29 - Cecilie Conrad
0:08:30 - Randal Hardy
How he understood me and I suddenly realized that, even though they can't talk back to his young children, I gaining understanding of how their parents behave and live, etc. And in a way that reflects back on me. At a very early age I was adopted about six weeks old. I was adopted when I was about 18, I went in one evening and my parents were still both up, which was unusual. The time I got in, when I was eight, I'm watching telly but my dad was struggling to keep away and I sat down on the table thinking what's going on here, and the program they were watching was about adoption. And at the end of it my mother looked across the table and her eyes were full of tears and she said Randall, I've got something to tell you. And I said I said I already know what hot. And she didn't know that I'd always known that I was adopted. Wow, I don't know how I knew I was adopted, but I suspect it was this fact that her dad in particular. He was a coal miner by background.
And he came and he spent a lot of time looking after me and he'd always talk about when they got you, when they brought you home, and I think it was that conversation from him in my young years that had told me I was adopted. Just to put it very bluntly, I was really glad I knew from that age and ever since I've been talking to somebody who's been adopting back then you could adopt a lot more babies than you do now. We're not going into the reasons for that Most of the adoption now with older children but I was six weeks old when I was adopted and I've always said to people if you adopt a baby, just talk to it. Normal about having been adopted.
0:10:58 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, don't do it it doesn't have to be a secret. No.
0:11:02 - Randal Hardy
Not a secret. But also, you don't have to wait for them to be a certain age, and I think this goes back to Jesper's original introduction when he said you know, when do we hand over to adulthood? I don't think we do. I think we, in preparing them for adulthood, we're giving them more responsibility to it. Not quite every day, but as we see they're growing into responsibility, then we give them a bit more. So is that in the area you're thinking about?
0:11:39 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'm just thinking. You said so. Now I'm going to answer. You said our job as parents is to equip our children for adult life, and I just wanted to add to that because I totally agree that also and I find this the balancing act Maybe well, it's another balancing act we also have to be of service, as you put it. We have to take care of them until they can take care of themselves. So when they are really small, we dress them or undress them according to the temperature in the room. They cannot do that themselves. They can express that they feel discomfort, but they cannot solve the problem themselves.
This is clearly obvious, simple thing to do with babies. It becomes more complicated when the children are 7, 8, 12, 14. How do we navigate? Finding out? Do I really know better, so that I get to say I know better, you should do this now, or am I having this ageism, this I'm the adult, so per default I know better, point of view that I don't want to adopt, and I find this navigation complicated. It's one of the most complicated tasks and it doesn't have to do so much with equipping them for adult life. It has to do with the job of taking care of them until we get to that point. It's my responsibility, it's not no one else responsibility, it's not the state or the teacher or the doctor or anyone else. It's my responsibility that my children well, it's our responsibility that our children are thriving. And I just find that another important part of the task and I find that the thing that is different.
When I talk to the children and say, when you clean the kitchen, you have to wipe the tables off before you can feel you're done. I say it that way like a rule, like a command, like this is how it works, and I don't say that to you. No, if you have the kitchen table off and you tell me you've done the kitchen, then I might just go and do it, or I would say I prefer a kitchen table to be clean, no bread crumbs. So, and I think it's fair enough, that doesn't have to be a negotiation and a conversation about my kids complain that I explained too much.
So because? Because can't they say something? Why can't you just say you know, do that and don't tell me the whole fucking back Sorry, Backstory about why we do things this way and how you feel about it and why you asked me right now and that you respect. If I don't have the time, just tell me to wipe off the table and I'll do it. I don't need the whole story. So I mean, but it's not the same. It's not the same to talk to your children about practical stuff, about chores, than your spouse. It isn't.
0:15:05 - Jesper Conrad
But there is a big difference in when, because I, when I walk around and meet other parents, sometimes I'm considering, when I see them talk to their children, I can be like so your child doesn't have a say in this, is it something you decide? So so it's. It's also a matter of just being nice towards your children and I think it will make them it will be easier for them to walk down the path of adulthood if they have been part of taking the decisions. But it's a difficult balance because we can also be too afraid to say anything to our children. I was like, oh now I said it in the wrong way, now I now now I'm not a good enough dad, and stuff like that. But I think there is in the subject. There is, some interesting things about how do we treat children just based on how old they are, and why do we treat them like that?
0:16:12 - Randal Hardy
I think it's not to do. It's not to do with age, though. The age of adulthood is a complete construct.
0:16:22 - Cecilie Conrad
0:16:23 - Randal Hardy
Right, yeah, and all your children. All children come to the age of taking responsibility at different stages. You've got five children in your family, 16 hours, you know.
0:16:41 - Cecilie Conrad
We have only four.
0:16:42 - Randal Hardy
Oh, sorry, you're far sorry, got that wrong Sorry.
0:16:46 - Cecilie Conrad
I think that way we have sort of five.
0:16:50 - Randal Hardy
Oh, we have six. And have we had any who have been like the others? No, no, no. We were away with one of our sons and his wife and their eight children and we're having a good chat and she says, oh, husband's always complaining that I say I'm just going to adjust the routine slightly, I'm just going to you know, and he says, can't you stick with the routine? But we recognize that actually, if you've got a number of children in the house and they're all growing and they're all changing their abilities without you noticing it, suddenly you have to say, well, that worked three weeks ago, it's not going to work now and life is fluid, right. Another reason to point out that if you're Jewish, a boy becomes a man at the age of 13. Not 18. I was brought up when he became an adult at 21. And the government, with a bill, reduced it to 18.
0:18:02 - Jesper Conrad
0:18:04 - Randal Hardy
What difference does it make? It doesn't change how you mature. It changes how you convert, but not how you mature. Go on.
0:18:14 - Cecilie Conrad
No, but I was just thinking. We talk a lot about adulthood at the moment in our family because we have a child who will be 18 soon, so not that it matters a lot to us within the group here, but lots of people ask about it, so it's a subject that comes up a lot. And one thing that I realized through all these conversations is that adulthood as well is a construct the idea that you're a child and then at some point and we can discuss the point, but at some point you become an adult, and then it's like that's it. That's one stage. I've been an adult for a while, I should say, and I found my life changed a lot.
The premises of it, the I don't know the unfolding different life elements happens. It's not like it's one thing. You could say I was an adult when I moved out from home. You could say I was an adult when I obtained my university degree. You could say I became an adult when I had my first child, or when I got married, or when I got a mortgage, or there are so many different adult tick boxes, different stages of it, that you cannot even say I don't think I could draw a line in the sand and say this person is now officially an adult. If I should pick one, I would say becoming a parent is the big game changer. But I wouldn't say that people who never become parents never become adults. That doesn't make sense.
0:19:55 - Randal Hardy
A while back, I heard people saying that one of the big changes in recent decades is that child has got a lot shorter and teenage has got a lot longer, and there's a lot of people who are maturing and taking responsibility for themselves way into their twenties. And what is an adult? Someone who has in my mind, who has a sense of responsibility for themselves and their actions, and it's a process we grow into and somewhere we reach a point where we are no longer as dependent as we were on our family, our parents. For us, we are taking more responsibility for ourselves and enough to only need to refer to them on occasions. Right, yeah, but one of the problems of modern life and I think it's this false barrier when you are a parent, a parent is an adult is it instills in young people that they've reached their age and maturity and they don't need them to refer back and say mum, if you were in my situation, what would you do? And you might say what? I'd probably mess it up.
0:21:39 - Cecilie Conrad
Or you might say I wouldn't know what.
0:21:42 - Randal Hardy
I'd try not to mess it up. I'd try this way or I've got a real problem. Can you just have a chat with me and see if we can work it out together? Right, somehow this artificial age barrier we've got kind of pulls adult children away from their parents because they're expecting that I'm grown up, I can do these things without them. The law says they can do some things, but what the law says doesn't mean to say that actually you're equipped to do it. But I think these are barriers that are there.
But if we get and I think Western society is a long way from it, because if we get to this point where we can say, step by step, I am going to train my children in line so that they don't have to refer to me as often for help, so we go back to the thing potty training that is a step in where the child doesn't have to refer to parents as often but they learn to walk and they can feed themselves. Some of my children said I wanted to ride a bike but they needed me to hold the bike vertical while they got going and then all of a sudden they're off, yes, and once they've gone past that point you can feel relaxed Once you know that potty train. You don't have to be looking for the moment. Do you need a little toilet? Do you need? You know? Go on.
0:23:41 - Jesper Conrad
One of the things that I find really interesting about this talk, randall, is the fact that I can sit and be kind of like oh, but what is it I would love my children to learn before they fly away from the nest? What is it that it doesn't seem like that in society we have these kind of common idea about? Hey, it could be really cool if the children you're brought into the world when they are going to be individual outside of the family, they could handle these kind of things. It's like normal politeness. Hey, stand in a queue without trying to nick another person's place in the supermarket.
0:24:31 - Randal Hardy
That's very British.
0:24:33 - Cecilie Conrad
No one in Britain ever does that have you seen the lines, they line up for the bus stop.
0:24:41 - Jesper Conrad
But there's a joke aside, of course. But when I look at the, what do you call them? When you in olden age, you had like a ceremony of now you are getting older At some point in Right of passage.
Right of passage. Yeah, so it seems like our right of passage today comes with the legalization of now you are allowed to intoxicate yourself in this manner and now you can drive a car legally and vote legally. But there's like none of them are about being a human and responding to the people around you in a proper situation.
0:25:27 - Randal Hardy
You don't expect the stakes legislate to be the human being, or are they sarcastic?
0:25:34 - Jesper Conrad
No, no, no, absolutely not hoping they will legislate it, but I am hoping that we buy our talk and for me to think further on. It could go down and think what is it that could be really nice that we parents figure out? How can we best help our children to take the steps to becoming adults?
0:25:56 - Cecilie Conrad
So I would like to challenge the premise of what you just said, because I think it's one of the arbitrary things we keep saying in the conversations about family life. Children growing up is this before they fly off, we are not birds and our kids don't grow up in nests and once they fly off, they never come back, kind of normal.
That's not how it works and it doesn't have to work like that. And I think one of the big things going on in the culture after, let's say, the industrialization is is the divide and conquer. It's been going on even longer, but you should be ashamed to live in your parents house after you are. Let's just be fair and say 25. If you're 25 years old, you still live at home, or you should be ashamed. This is embarrassing. You're not telling anyone. If you moved out from home when you were, let's say, 25 and three years later you moved back for a while. That's like a real. You should be ashamed of that as well.
It's like a failure situation, and I think I'm completely with you, randall, that the job is to find out how can the kids learn to handle themselves so that they don't need my help all the time? Yes, but to pretend that you don't need your parents at some point you get to a point where you don't need your parents is this divide and conquer, individualization of the idea of life that I just don't agree with? Your parents will always be your parents and you will always refer back, even after they die. You will have them installed in here and it will have an emotional impact to think about. Would my mom like that I do this now? Would she agree? Would she be happy? When I take a picture of a flower, I know my mom is smiling somewhere on the other side of whatever. She's dead, because she liked when I took pictures of flowers and sent them to her and they will always be there.
And it's an idea that we have in the modern society that they fly off and then they're supposed to be able to handle themselves completely and be individuals and do their own thing and independent of the parents. And this idea goes against basic human nature. We do refer back to our parents, literally or like physically, in real life or emotionally all the time, and we might as well know it and own it that we are living co-dependent lives as human beings. There's nothing wrong with living with your parents if that's what you want, as long as when you're 25 probably, you do do your dishes and contribute financially.
0:28:49 - Randal Hardy
Do you remember last time I mentioned a book to you about the woman who had gone to look at three non-modern cultures and how they differently, but they nurtured the children away, where they became family team members from the start? Modern cultures have got rid of that view of family being a team and part of that breakdown and I don't think it's accidental, certainly in recent, in the last century, it has not been accidental there is a desire to stop families being a team and so this idea of you've reached age X, now you are an adult and independent, is a non-family team vision, but what it does. We've got a growth, certainly in Britain, of parents who can't take their parenthood with a sense of responsibility. They are happy to pass on their children to the people to look after them. They don't know how to do things for their children. They don't seek to nurture. They are there, they're parked in the corner in front of the screen, whatever screen it is, and they get fed occasionally, but they do not have this sense of responsibility. And what would take us right through and it might sound like a really long and previous conversation we had is if the whole family, every generation, are appreciated and was motivated by this view of being a team. So when your little grandma has something she can contribute to the team to help you grow. When you get to middle, to the parentage, you have something you can contribute to the team upwards to look after grandma and downwards to look after your children. And that, that joint teamwork.
And I do think we really do live as Westerners, in a society where this understanding of the family as a a team unit has got watered down and brought milk and it's designed to create a world of individuals who who will then go along with the crowd. Family ties are what keeps you, your culture, your understanding of things. But we now get a, a culture where people follow the herd in a way or internationally rather than think for themselves. And that sense of responsibility won't put into our children Isn't just to have automatic responses to standing the line, standing the queue or to wipe the table. It's also to say here's a situation, what's going on, how can I best respond to it?
And I think not to go too far away from home education and all that. What we do see with home educating families is families who've done that, at least with the education of their children, and that moves them into a bigger exploration of what's his family and they grow from it. But most families never make, never get that connection. And you know, sadly somebody told me about a friend of theirs grandmother, who was brought up in the Soviet Union and the job of the parents had been reduced, when she was a parent, to giving a child one meal a day and somewhere to sleep. The state did everything else, yeah.
0:33:26 - Cecilie Conrad
But that's the reality in many places. We just don't face it the way you framed it there. I mean, when you look at, I was looking at what was it? We were diving into something about eating habits in different places of the planet, and then there was so much about the school meals in the States about, because we were looking at how do they eat in the United States and we realized that in some places the kids eat three meals a day in school, they have breakfast, when they arrive, they have lunch and then they have like an extra meal before they go home, which is a lot of food served outside of the home.
0:34:21 - Randal Hardy
A lot of food served by the government. Not only food served outside of the home, but the meal table should be a place of conversation, of team bonding. So who are they bonding with?
0:34:39 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, they're peers. Hopefully Maybe they're not bonding.
0:34:43 - Randal Hardy
We don't know bonding, because there's no sense of team in that environment. It's competition. The school is a place of competition.
0:34:54 - Cecilie Conrad
But there is also the problem that in the school setting you have all the same age people sitting around the table and what you need for a balanced life. You talked about it before how you as an adult will help the grandparent generation with what they need and you will support the children and that will be like a full circle, everybody feeding each other's needs Also the need for happiness and meaningfulness. I remember we were neighboring my grandmother when we had our children, or some of them, all of them, three of them. So this is one more generation up. And for her last 10 years of her life, the meaningfulness of her life, what made her happy was to have the great grandchildren run around in her garden naked in the sunset, that she could sit down and look at that and that they would come sit on her lap and she could maybe try to teach them to read or read them a fair tale or whatever. She was a wonderful person and the fact that she could live with her family gave her meaning in life, meaning that many elderly people in the Western States do not have because they spend too much time alone.
And the dinner table, every meal table, should be around people that you love and where you're. If they have an opinion on something, hopefully you find it valid or at least relevant to listen to it. I mean, sometimes, yes, I don't agree when we talk about things with our children, but they get his perspective, they get my perspective. They know who we are and I get their perspective and we can unfold who we are. But if I was in a school setting and I would have my meals with a random group of people changing every week, every year, then I wouldn't have that continuity in my. When we sit around the table talking about whatever comes up, it's deep briefing and deconstruction, isn't it Like you understand what life is. That's what's going on. I don't think that's what's going on in the canteen in the school.
0:37:11 - Jesper Conrad
No, what I can be afraid of sometimes when I'm sitting and listening to our conversations is I get this big hope where I feel like, oh, it could be wonderful if even more people could go out and may have better family units, a more respectful dialogue about how to be a team together, and sometimes my answer is, oh, but then you would maybe need to spend a lot more time together and need to homeschool and unschool, and but the world is bigger than us who homeschool and unschool? So do you have any suggestions for the people who are not ready to take those steps in? What could you do to strengthen the family bonds like this?
0:38:06 - Randal Hardy
I think what we don't get these days are conversations about the value of the family, which is why these are good, and people don't hear that. You know, even if the government runs a better parenting class, it isn't really about the value of the tumble. It's about the duties of the parents to get their children to school and to get them here and there, because the best place for children is in school. I've heard that so many times from politicians. So even if the government's doing something to support families, it's not. It's actually doing something to get families more dependent on the state. So what we need first of all is people who speak and talk about the blessings of family life. Okay, and you know it is.
It's very difficult with the way the economic system has now been structured right. You can't do things as a family as much because the economic system we live with rips you apart. That was part of your journey. Remember the first time we met? Five of us were home educating. One was going off during the day and coming back and we thought this isn't right. You've got it, but you can't push people into making changes like that. It's something with any big changing life. It's got to be caught. It can't be pushed. You can't push people into it, you have to.
Well, my motto, my objectives, is to, in all I do with home, education and much of the rest of life, is inform people, inspire people so they take independent action. So, if I can inform them of the background or of something, and then, by the way I live and the way I do things, I inspire them to aim for that. My hope is they just then get it and go off and begin to do it in whatever way they can. As the first stage. You know, that is the first stage just catching that flame from somebody else, and we all do it. When we meet somebody with something to say something to that inspires us, we change because that's inspires. I don't think we'll ever get society there, but who knows what's happening with society? The Western society, the international things are all falling apart at the moment in a way that you know, since 2020, things are falling apart and I just wonder sometimes whether really what we need is families that can survive in much harder times as a family unit and that may be there.
But have you heard of John Taylor Gatter? Yeah, american educationist. He had a strong feel. He spoke a lot about the fact that the industrial system had been brought about because there was a policy of making it harder and harder for people to earn a living as self-empo. Why? Because self-empo people have to be independent, they have to be initiative takers, and there was a desire not to have a society full of initiative takers, but a society that would be compliant to what other people said. And so they lost that thing.
But what went with it? I know it isn't modern, it's not progressive, but what could be better than a dad who worked with his hand, taking his sons into his workshop and teaching them how to manufacture things or how to grow things in the garden? What could be better than a mother who doesn't just keep home? But in many ancient cultures the mother did things from home that enhanced family life by being able to trade with things and passing those skills on to her daughters. And now we're in the modern world. You could take your daughter into the workshop or you could teach your son to knit or something. But these passing on of skills and even in that problem, there is a bonding between parents and children working together as a team, and I think that has been purposely undermined in the last hundred years in order to have a compliant population, and I know people don't like me talking about that.
0:43:52 - Cecilie Conrad
I totally agree with you.
0:43:54 - Jesper Conrad
for the record, I think we're going to talk about it.
0:43:57 - Cecilie Conrad
In all fairness, whether you agree with it be happened, on someone doing it purposely or not, it has happened. The reality is that the family unit is split off. In the morning they go do each their three, four, five different things, depending on how many people we're talking about and they come back in the evening and maybe they do have the dinner table and then they have their three, four, five different preparations for the next day. It's not. There are hardly any projects that you do as a family. Even if you build a new balcony or whatever, then that's that project, or the redecoration of the home, whatever. It's rarely something that you have as a family, a project, and maybe that's why vacation time or road trips or camping trips they stand out for families as these star moments, these precious, precious moments, because they were prepared together, they were executed together and there was something to talk about afterwards where maybe you worked a little more as a team. So I'm totally with you in that and I think maybe, if I can answer your question as well, one thing that can always be done, whether you have a home-based life or not, is to let go of the control.
I think a lot of parenting if you have parents who actually do take responsibility and try to do the right thing. It's very symptom-based, it's very much. How much time does my child spend with computer games? Do they obey when I ask them to do the dishes? How does their room look? And how are they graded in school? Do they do their homework, stuff like that? So the parents, they try to control these outcome things and make them look good and the problem is that you get this slave-ish relation where the kids are ordered around and maybe they obey, maybe they don't, but what you do not have is teamwork. You don't have a great relation, you don't have good times, and I think it would be very nice to let go of all that control and start thinking about how do I want the emotional life, the vibration of my house to be when we're home. How much do we laugh, how much do we talk about non-relevant stuff, just things we don't laugh.
0:46:25 - Randal Hardy
How often do you throw a cushion at one of them?
0:46:29 - Cecilie Conrad
Exactly, exactly. And the chores, things that has to be done, can be done together, even homework. Then sit down and go into the rabbit hole of the fractions or the history of Mexico, whatever you're studying with your child, and just have sandwiches for dinner, and then next day maybe do the reverse skip those homework, forget about it and make a nice meal.
0:46:51 - Randal Hardy
But you see what's happened, and human nature plays a lot in this. But we have become very much orientated on what other people think of us and giving them an impression of what we think. They'll make us think we're a normal, well functioning family and things. But that is a hiding to nothing. Is that? I'm trying to translate into Danish? That it really is. You never forget me. But what is human nature like? I listened to a program years ago. I just had the rain in the autumn. They were interviewing a woman. We'd written a book about book clubs.
I don't know if you have book clubs in your yeah, yeah base right, and she said it was amazing she'd been part of the book club. What she thought a book club should be about? Just people getting together enjoying a book, having a chat, having a relax and talking about it, simulating conversation off the went. But then she moved the area and the first thing that happened was she noticed that the new book club she went to there was a competition to serve the best refreshments. Oh, no Right, there was a best also in power. There was a competition to have the best presented house where you were meeting, and she said it got to the stage where people were hiring in caterers to provide the food and a professional company to clean the house before the meetings.
This is fun, though, but this is the thing with inside people. They want to be looked at as being alright, and actually most of our lives are messy, and if we can live with a messy life but say these are my objectives, I think people would find a much better outcome. So you know, when we go out to the shops with our children, we make sure they come ahead, because we want nobody to say, oh, they're scruffy kids, you know. Or we go and visit. We want them to behave well so that we don't get black marks as parents, and that is part of what you're talking about.
But actually if we could just see, life is messy.
There are no perfect families.
There are some families who have got more communication, more internal respect, and if you get internal respect within your family, then that then goes out to how you respect the people and things. But we have a whole world of other influences going on around us and we have to learn. So I just want to motivate people to say what can I do as a parent to help my children be equipped for when they're parents? How can I help them to be equipped so when they're adults, they can have a positive influence on the community they're part of, rather than a draining one. You know, and I think, with all our children, one thing I am very satisfied with if they're in a situation, a group situation, they are often the ones who end up taking the initiative as adults in that group, because other people and it goes down to the afternoons when you know those who went to university in the old days they usually ended up to be the person who break in between the toilet and the shared accommodation Because nobody else had the discipline or the motivation to do it.
0:51:11 - Cecilie Conrad
And maybe also.
I think there is also a mechanism for children growing up in the school system and maybe also with, I mean, many parents. All parents have good intentions, but they could order their kids around trying to make the outcome look really nice. And children, they grow up in a context of being ordered around with other people's agendas. They do things because they are told to do things and they do it all of their waking hours. They're even told how to sleep, when to sleep. Some kids more than others, but in general, quite a lot of a childhood is unfolding other people's agendas, and I think that when you become an adult and you get to make your own decisions, then opting out of things not cleaning the toilet at university it makes sense that you would want to revolt against doing other people's agendas and doing things that other people came up with. That you should do, Because you've just been stuffed with it so much that the flip side, the dark side of this is you've been stuffed with it so much, while you have not had the chance to find out what you want because there's no space for that.
So at the same time, you don't really know what you want. You don't know if you want to be the one who takes responsibility or be part of a team. You don't know what makes you happy. You don't know how to handle your days, weeks and years in a way that makes sense to yourself, because you have no experience sorry, I lost the word. You have no experience. Trying things out and learning, oh that I thought it would make me happy, but actually it didn't. So I'll try something else.
0:53:17 - Randal Hardy
You don't have the skills either.
0:53:20 - Cecilie Conrad
0:53:21 - Randal Hardy
You know one of the arguments we had when our children was little Mary doesn't like television, she didn't want one in the house. My argument was well, there's some use to one, but I want my children to now have to turn it off. And how do you learn to turn the television off if you never have one to turn off? And actually most of them don't have a TV. But most of them do not have a TV because they learn a method of managing it and while I can manage it, I'm not addicted. Another one we had some friends who lived in the community with a shared purse, so their children had to go to somebody else to ask for money to spend on clothes or things like that, or even to go and buy something from a local shop. And I said I wouldn't have that because I want my children to learn how to manage their money, because when they become an adult they need to manage money and so. But what we find is my dad said to me you know, get on at school, it's good for you, do what the teacher says. The teacher is always right, and things like that, because he wanted me to get on in life as he saw it.
And that is the game a lot of people play. They don't think through is school. Is what the school? Preparing children for the best thing for them as adults? They just take it because everybody else is going down that road. So it takes the person who swims against the tide to challenge that. You know we've had plenty of people pushing back on us. Why are you doing against what everybody else is doing? Because we think it's the best thing.
0:55:35 - Jesper Conrad
We could have more people questioning why they put their kids to school. Yeah, absolutely. There are some subjects. While you two were talking, I was just sitting on, so here they come. I talked I had with one of the dads at the workshop. He had some trouble with a son revolting a little against him where the simple solution is stop giving him something to revolt against. We have very easy dialogue with our children, but we also do not decide a lot over them and tell them what to do. Why did you do it, which school to attend to, and all this so they don't have this teenage rebellion against us, because there's not a lot to rebel against. And so that was one of the subjects that came into my mind. But the other was a reflection on when we talked about living together as a family.
Then one of the ways I see we have lived, and one of the ways I really love that we live, is when we are placed out of our van, the seven meter van we have. It is messy, difficult, annoying. We have too little space. There's so many things wrong with when we have the times in a van, but we are so much together as a family. I really love that part of it.
Now we are in a huge Airbnb in Mexico and then we tend to, luckily, in our family. We like to be in the same room but we are doing separate stuff. So just by seeing the way we live, we often spend time differently. And I can feel now when we are in this Airbnb, that I actually need to kind of remember, push myself to remember hey, you actually need to do something with your children when, hey, more normally when we were in a tighter confined space and maybe that's what people love about camping, that they are together by the sheer nature of the campsite and the tent- it's very clearly also one of the big problems that we have in the modern society.
0:57:55 - Cecilie Conrad
I think that all children they need to have their own room.
People prepare room for the child even before it's born, which is, in my opinion, insane. And I see the advantages of a 15-year-old having his or her own room, but I also see the disadvantage of families living in the same house but actually unfolding themselves in different rooms and they are divided by person. I mean, if we had, let's say, a nine-bedroom house, we might have two or three bedrooms with bed in them, and because it is nice to distribute the many people and dogs in several rooms, to be fair, now that our kids are not toddlers anymore. But then we might have an art room and a reading room and a gaming room where you would go do activities rather than you know. I have my room and in my room I set up the art because I'm the art person, and then another person would say, oh, my room is a gaming room, and then you set up computers or board games, whatever. So it's also this idea that children need their own room and they need, you know, their own wardrobe, desk, bed, everything except for the kitchen they have in their own little confined place is just one more separation of the family. And luckily, what you see is that many families actually live their life in the kitchen, that the homework is not done at the desk in the child's room, it's done at the kitchen table. So there is in human nature still a need to be together, and kitchens are very often considered too small and everyone wish they had two dining tables one for the projects and one for actually eating. And so it. I think we could be aware of how we set the scene for our lives, and we could also. You asked before how can we, what could we recommend people who are not ready to homeschool? What I would recommend is to homeschool, and if you can't homeschool, then homeschool anyway. And if you find it impossible for your family to homeschool, then sit down and make a plan so you eventually can get to a point where you get your children out of that horrible institution.
That was my first, but my second is sit down and think about life. I think that's the thing that's been lost after we lost religion and we lost the family community, where you sit down and talk about life. You talk about many things over that dining table, but there are lots and lots and lots of dinners. So, yeah, sometimes you talk about tigers and sometimes you talk about a book, but eventually you get to talk about life. The kids ask really interesting questions, even when they're very small. And you talk about life, you talk about what it is, you talk about what's important, you talk about how to handle it, and once you find out what's really important and why, and then you ask why again, and then you ask why once more, you get very clear. Then things become more easy and then this thing with what would the neighbors think? It's sort of the volume goes down on that one. I mean, it doesn't, it will never go away, but it might become less important. So again we have the dinner table.
1:01:34 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, but Cecilia, you was sorry, sorry, no, no, no, cecilia was. Cecilia have helped me walk this path many times and even helped me skew into the right path. When I was going off track, when we bought our house together, in my mind I grew up with each child having their own room. You know the whole idea when we were going to have child number two our oldest, she had a room and then it was like but then we need a child that needs another room. And we remember, when we were coming to child three or four, that people said but now you need to move because that child three, and I remember someone said now you need a seven bedroom apartment or seven room.
1:02:24 - Cecilie Conrad
We needed a living room, a dining room, three bedrooms, a master bedroom, an office room. What was the last room? No, this is seven. This is. Yeah, it was. I was like are you insane? It's just a child.
1:02:41 - Randal Hardy
Yeah, you know some places on the planet.
1:02:43 - Cecilie Conrad
Seven children grow up under a wooden wood that has an angle. I mean, we don't need seven rooms to have three children.
1:02:52 - Jesper Conrad
But just to acknowledge all the parents not there yet, I wasn't there. I was annoyed when the kids came into the living room where the sofas and television with all their tools toys toys and not tools all their toys and I need.
In the evening we needed to put them back into the children room and then at one point Cecilia said so why don't we just move them into the living room? And it was just turned up a light in my mind. So why have we been annoyed of moving them? But the children want to play where the parents are. Of course they want to be near their parents. Why should they feel that their playtime isn't allowed near the adults, that they need to go in a separate room? It's just a wide way of being a family.
1:03:47 - Randal Hardy
Can I come back because I think we might have clicked on one thing I'm going to say. Anybody listening to this doesn't know where to start. Let's pick up what we were talking about earlier, which is eating meals together round the table. I have to admit, right from the start we said we're always going to have fun with the in-times. We weren't going to have serve yourself, do what you want meal times. I know that was parental rigidity, but it was the time for fun and conversation. It is a good thing to do. Round the meal table is to communicate, and if people don't know where to start, look at how many meals you eat together. Really sad story Many years ago.
You might not imagine me now with my white hair and grandad appearance. First thought when we came together I was detached youth work in the middle of Manchester, which is one of the big cities here, and I used to wander the streets doing youth work. I had a colleague who worked in a youth club and she did a survey once and asked then I'm talking over 40 years ago and I think it only got worse. This was before the internet and things like that she asked her youth club attendees how many meals they had with their family each week and some have some delonged together. Most didn't sit down with the rest of the family to eat a meal and she was even astonished that one lad said they didn't even sit down together on Christmas day for the Christmas dinner, which is a big thing in England, right, if you never eat with anybody else, you know everybody wants to eat with somebody on that day, but he said even their family they didn't, and so that has been drifting.
So if people don't know where to start might be difficult Dad might not be getting in till late and the children try and building more family meal times and let the bonding go on that and resist the temptation to let the state feed them breakfast when they get to school and feed them after school and if you can go fetch them on for lunch at home as well, you'll be scowled at if you do that, but fetch them on that bonding.
The meal times are a good time to bond and the other thing I would say is don't try and invent things, but find real things to do together with your children. I remember hearing some years ago about I think he was an American dad who wrote in his diary didn't do much today took Johnny fishing. Then they found Johnny's diary. Best day ever Dad took me fishing and it was a real thing to do. You know, just playing with a bit of something in the corner room was better than nothing, but actually find something real to do together so you can say we did that and it's made a difference.
1:07:32 - Cecilie Conrad
I want to add to the meal time thing because I think maybe I don't know, I'm not British I have the feeling that it's more normal in Britain to sit down at the sofa with a bowl with your meal, watching TV, not having the dinner table situation, Whereas in our culture it really has a high start to do the dining table together and it's looked down upon that you watch TV Meanwhile. We don't have TVs in the kitchen and in France it's very normal to have a TV in the kitchen. So even though you sit down around the table, the TV is on, which is, in my world, odd. So maybe the situation is also culturally different, but I think.
I've had a lot of clients that I talked to about this dining table and I actually recommend against it when you have toddlers and also when you have young school children, that you should pull out of school, but for as long as they are there. The reality in Denmark very often is that you know it's very important, this sitting down, connecting family time around the table, but it becomes a nightmare of a child refusing to eat or throwing the food at the floor, having tantrums while you try to cook a healthy meal, and it's just a nightmare. It doesn't work. Shopping for it, cooking it and sitting down is just no fun. And I think the ritual of sitting down, having quality time, take calming out, time for the family and for the communication is very important.
But the actual eating sometimes for the younger children does not combine with this situation which, if you have a group of children and let's say they are seven, five and two, maybe the seven year old comes home from school exhausted and just hungry as hell. Feed that child the moment he or she enters the house. Let them eat whatever, maybe something healthy, but as much as they want. Don't give them that apple and say wait for dinner, and then they go around starving until the moment you made that pasta and maybe the five year old is good with the situation. But the two year old is hungry an hour before dinner is served and will not have the capability Maybe the five year old neither will have the capability of sitting down around the table having the conversation, handling the food and the fork and the glass and it's a lot of stimulation for a young person and then even choosing the broccoli. You know there's so much going on in this situation and there's such a high pressure that it has to be right that sometimes it becomes a nightmare and I actually advised my clients to just skip it, put the child on the right next to the sink and serve a sandwich. You know, just forget it because there's such a high pressure and I'm just saying this because we might have Danish listeners who come from the idea, the standard of the very good situation of the dining table, and I think with young children it can.
And maybe if you're hungry yourself oh man, if you're hungry yourself on top of it and you're maybe on a diet because you think maybe after the last three pregnancies you become double the size you want to be, so you only want to eat the broccoli, but you're cooking the pasta for the kids and one is having a tantrum and another one just turned on the TV and you just wanted to be a perfect family. Go, sit down and you want to eat only your little set. It's just impossible and you have to think through that situation and you have to also realize that as they mature, the children, this dining table becomes a lovely thing. Now we, our children, are 1115 and 17 the ones living with us, and we have so much fun sitting down eating together and we can't stop talking. So maybe with the younger children you should come out something more relaxed as family time, something with less pressure and less hunger. Let people eat when they're hungry for the shared meal situation.
1:12:02 - Randal Hardy
Well, agree, the hunger thing needs wisdom in that sense how you manage it. But I will say just one thing you said in that counterpoint did suggest that what you come from is the perfect atmosphere at table and you know properly. Lay down to the things like that. Maybe we can drop that, Maybe we can drop the appearance of it and somehow just find so that people can sit around. They maybe don't have to be eating. If they've eaten already they don't have to be eating. But this is family time, Dad's home where we've eaten. But this is the time each day when we sit down.
1:12:57 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah and serve maybe just a glass of water for everyone and take out the uno game and sit down around that table. Do have some. I'm not against the idea of the daily sitting down and this is a rehearsal for sharing a complex, more complex meal where people eat with knives and forks and don't throw things around. And throw things around and throw tantrums maybe, but I'm just saying that where we come from. So I hear you say that the problem is people don't do it at all in England and the problems we have back in Denmark is that people try too hard to do it when the kids are too young and it has to be too much of a healthy meal in a healthy situation and everybody's sitting down and it becomes toxic and that way, even in the non perfect style, just the idea that you can't eat before dinner and you have to sit until everyone are done and this whole rule of it. So yeah, I just wanted to modify.
1:13:55 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, but I think what happens is the situation where you for some reason have an ideal of how things should look like and that is one of the big challenges of being human is when you start imagining things should be in a different ways. Otherwise you aren't doing it good enough. Life is life and it's pretty often messy, I'm pretty sure. Often I don't know at all what I'm doing, but I try to have as much fun as possible with my children.
1:14:29 - Cecilie Conrad
But I think my point about the why, find out why and that's why it's important we talk about it in this podcast the reason the dinner table is important is because the family unit is important, because the hundreds and hundreds of conversations you have as a family important, non important ones, where you contribute, ones where you zone out, ones where you listen a little bit, the getting to know each other and the debriefing and deconstruction and learning that you have together as a family the memory bank you grow as a family. The knowledge bank you grow as a family. The joke bank you grow as a family. It happens around these situations where you're together as a family and that is in an everyday lived life.
The kitchen, because everyone needs to eat and for practical reasons, it's very practical to eat at the same time, yeah, so so this is a nice and very human thing to sit down and share a meal, maybe even with some friends.
I find this very important and I find it very important that we know why it's important, so that if you have a child who maybe is a picky eater, maybe doesn't really eat enough, maybe it's okay that that child is sitting, maybe even with the TV, shoveling some pasta at two hours before everyone else and at the dinner table he or she can draw whatever you know. Just take the why. The important thing is that we spend some time together, where we are together, all of us. When we sit down, we all know we have this time and there is a nice atmosphere. It's not about the eating, it's not about the diet. It's not about how the table is laid out, it's not about how it looks. It's about building this team and becoming this powerful unit that can resist the government, that can resist the hits that life will give you, because at least we know we have each other. If we know that, then I can agree with the general rule of the dinner table.
1:16:38 - Randal Hardy
Yeah, general rule that you have a family time together will probably be around a meal. Yeah, yeah, with flexibility. You nurture the children as they grow and they grow into it and they carry that value of family time with them into their own parents.
1:17:03 - Jesper Conrad
Randall to go back to the, the starting point of ownership, which is a fun way to to put it, of course, and it's caricature of what's going on and how some parents are treating their children. Then for the people only listening to this conversation, then Randall, on his screen it says no nationalization of our kids, Hands off, hands off. So if we can talk a little about that as well and also talk about how the ownership, how you fight for the ownership not ending in the hands of the government, it is our children, our rights.
1:17:51 - Randal Hardy
We've touched on it earlier that in totalitarian states, the state wants to shape the life of the child. In England, where I'm based, that fight really the last outpost that is holding out against it is the home education community, and that is the website that I set up in 2009 when this attack first started, and that was the phrase that I felt, and every year it feels even more relevant that what they're trying to do is nationalize children, everybody's children. Take on state ownership of your child, and there's an awful lot we could go that I'm not going to do. If people go to that website You've got the link on the previous podcast, buddy on this one Searching on nationalization of our kids, they'll probably find it. They'll get an idea of some of the things. I'm also involved in another website called the HEBite HEBitemeK and that's much more. That's a team of us working to keep the political agenda there.
Ownership Well, that is the thing the state really does. Think the community and by the community they mean them, the community machine of national government, local government as the ownership of children? They will actually, if I want to be cruel about it, they want to turn every child into a viable economical unit and they want to have the people there just to be compliant, and home educators teach children on the whole. We teach children to think for themselves, not to fit in the box, and I think they're terrified that the home education numbers are growing, not just in England but around the world, and lockdowns will accelerate it for whatever reason. And rather than just keeping a trick, let's now come up.
The other thing that's happening in this country and I was interested in what they have a politician say. It's not just England, it's Great Britain, but there's more families now realising that school isn't what they were told it was and children are saying why should I go? And parents are asking themselves why should they go? They're not deregistering the children, they're not taking back their responsibility to educate them. They're trying a hybrid model unofficially and that really isn't good for them.
But that question is being raised and I think, yeah, my two sides are. That's where it began Don't nationalise our children. But on the other side, it is also about parents taking back their parenthood and that isn't big boss of the children, but it is the one who guides them to adulthood, the one who presses on what values we worked out in our lives to be worthwhile and discourages the values that we find aren't helpful. That is what parents are about and that responsibility lies naturally and historically with the people who those children come into the world through. It doesn't belong to bureaucrats in London or in Copenhagen or anywhere. It belongs to the people who, biologically, and more than that, because we have spirits inside us brought us into this world with character and it's their responsibility to develop that character. And it's always got challenges, it's always got blessings and there's no perfect parents, but we have to work it out.
1:22:29 - Jesper Conrad
Beautiful. It raises a question in me about economy, and maybe it's because there's something wrong in how everything in a modern society comes down to economy. Everything is commercialised. That's one of the biggest problems, because if I was the state and I looked at the investment of what it costs to create a taxpayer, then I wanted my investment back. I can see it. But then maybe the real question is so why does it need to cost so much money to create a taxpayer? Why is everything needs to be valuated in money that it could cost a lot less if people were at home with their children, didn't outsource it to institutions and schools and everything. But I can also see why, if you were in a state, you would be like, hey, oh chap, you cost so much money to create into a grown-up, now I want it back. So of course I decide over what you should do in the years.
1:23:42 - Randal Hardy
Yeah, and that's because governments have got to be. To put it simply, what should governments be doing for the decisions? They want office and I would say they're not meant to be educating our children. They're not meant to be paying for them to go to nursery when they're six months old. They're not meant to be paying for elderly care when parents get that bit older.
In Britain we had a whole army of carers the children and elderly that were not paid. It didn't cost the state very much. But then they decided to do things like pay old age pension and things like this, and that takes responsibility away from people and it transfers responsibility to the state. The state says if you're not economically active, we don't want you hanging around, and that gets very, very nasty. But that's far too much for this moment in time. But cut back what the state thinks it has to provide. Stop taking responsibility from citizens and transferring that responsibility to the state. Let parents teach their own children. Let them feed their own children. Stop saying parents can't feed their own children so they've got to come to school to have three meals a day.
1:25:12 - Jesper Conrad
But one thing, randall, I think it. I totally agree with you, you know that, but I'm trying to put myself in the head of so what can I as an individual do? And I think one of the challenges is that I believe people can sit with a feeling of hey, man, I've paid a lot of taxes, so I'm entitled to this service and this service and this service. So we help the outsourcing by demanding stuff for our tax-paying money. So it's just become this nasty circle of, because I have paid so much in tax, then I want my mom and the retirement home. When time is, I want something to come and visit her at home. So maybe the biggest rebellion we can do is stop asking the state for stuff.
1:26:17 - Randal Hardy
Yeah, I think it is, but not worry about the money. You see, the economic argument works two ways. The state says we are providing this, therefore we need you to be paying, and you've just echoed what comes from the people. We are paying, therefore we demand and I paid, throughout the lives of our children, taxes so they could go to school, and I refused to claim the benefit of those taxes. I wasn't going to say I paid for their education through my taxes. Therefore I'm going to send them to school. I said I don't want your education for my children. I don't think it's good for them. I want them educated in a different way, and that should a free society should provide for that. The danger is the way things are going. The battle that's here in Britain and in most of the countries is that the state does not want parents to have the right to refuse the offer of free education for their children.
1:27:33 - Cecilie Conrad
That's an ugly one. Mandatory schooling is a really ugly one, a really scary, scary idea, and I find it hard to understand how these so-called free countries even can face themselves if they come up with this idea. Because mandatory schooling is mandatory indoctrination, and whether you agree with the world view taught in school or not, that doesn't really matter. What matters is agreeing with the idea of mandatory schooling allows for the state to teach everyone the same truth. And what if that truth is off? What if one day becomes off? What if you at this point believe oh, but it's good enough, they're teaching the truth in schools, it's fine, and let everyone learn that. What happens the day the schools start teaching the children something you know to be false, maybe even toxic, maybe even dangerous, but it's mandatory?
Scared the hell out of me when I first looked it up. You can look it up at Wikipedia Home schooling oh, I can't remember. What did I Google? There's a very nice list for European countries. Is homeschooling legal or illegal or somewhere in between? The school and my point is there are countries where schooling is mandatory and it has to be public school. This is 100% of the children in the same system.
Ten years of their life. No, in Germany, private schools are legal. All right, you mean you have an alternative that is still legal. But some of the former Eastern Europe they are Eastern European, both East Bloc countries. There were some of them where public school is mandatory. Think about that for a while. Mandatory state schooling of everyone. That scares the hell out of me.
1:29:44 - Randal Hardy
Really it does, I'm sure, but I tell you what. That is a big subject, so maybe we ought to get together again on this.
1:29:52 - Cecilie Conrad
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I'd like to talk for the third time. We can just do around three. Maybe take it from the next country we get to.
1:30:00 - Jesper Conrad
1:30:01 - Randal Hardy
Yeah, let's do that.
1:30:04 - Cecilie Conrad
Think that what I can take away from this conversation is the key really to empowering everyone again would be A the thinking Ask yourself why and B understanding and I don't think I even understand it really but maybe getting some of the importance of the family unit and I know families can be many different. Things Doesn't have to be mom and dad and a handful of children, can be many different but the power of having people in your life with whom you unfold that life and share the responsibilities and the ups and downs and just everyday hours. I think what is lost if I can just continue a little second more in the whole financial perspective is all the things you can't put a price on. This is a feminism take on modern economy. One angle is that only the things that we can put a price on that will affect the BNP will be things that we can understand the value of, and therefore reading bedtime stories and artwork and having long conversations on Sundays have no value. You don't feel you contribute, you don't feel you achieve anything, but actually these things, the glue, is the glue that holds us together and this togetherness. I don't think anyone could survive without it.
I think a lot of suffering comes from loneliness, from feeling that you're all alone. So back to the central theme of this conversation the family unit and really nursing the family unit. You can't put a price on it and you can't put an end goal, say when I've done XYZ, I'm good, I've done it and I can move on to other things. It really is an ongoing thing that you call your mom and you talk to your children and you make sure you construct a life where the family becomes the strong unit, the base. That is the cliff you stand on, and if you don't understand that then you will be lost. That would be my final words.
1:32:51 - Jesper Conrad
And to you, Randall, any final words.
1:32:55 - Randal Hardy
Just to reflect on that.
We haven't talked about the big news story of the moment, which is the situation in Israel and Gaza, but I've been trying to look at the human stories behind it as well, and I've heard several, two or three interviews including one of the hostages who was released recently, about life in some of the kibbutzes that were attacked. And you've got to remember that the kibbutz system was a system where children were not family orientated, they were the community orientated. But what has struck me, from three different perspectives, is that, despite that, the child-parent bond has continued into adulthood, in old age. So the most recent hostage who was released, her daughter slew from England to go and be with her, and there why? Because she's mom, and that there. And so, even in that situation, which has got lots of questions and not for now, this sense that a system that was not really about encouraging that family bond hasn't snuffed it out. And so we have hope, as we see a system in the wider world that's trying to weaken the family bond that it's too strong to snuff out.
1:34:37 - Cecilie Conrad
It is. It is very strong. I don't I think it's indestructible, but it is. I mean it can take some hits.
1:34:43 - Jesper Conrad
Yeah, then my final words, before we hang up for this time, is the story you told, reminded of our, of our great friend Khavit, whom we do another project with called handpancosascom. He grew up in a kibbutz and he told me one day. He said but you know what? I never had a meal alone until I was like 19, 20., 21.
1:35:11 - Cecilie Conrad
1:35:12 - Jesper Conrad
When he left the kibbutz, when he left the kibbutz was the first time he ate alone, and in the thoughts about our dialogue today, then, the connectedness of always having someone around to talk to, to share your day with, to share your thoughts with, to laugh with it's just beautiful. And this guy, he's one of the most socially fun guys to hang out with. So, yes, let's do more to strengthen the bonds of the family. So, randall, thanks a lot for your time. It has been a big pleasure, as always, and I look forward to when we once again will spend some more time together.
1:35:53 - Randal Hardy
And thank you for having me. It's a delight to chat to you both and bounce things around and see other perspectives and I hope in doing so we've inspired others. Thank you very much.
1:36:08 - Jesper Conrad
Thank you. Thank you for listening. We hope you enjoyed today's episode and if you liked them, then please share it with all your friends and family. We would also love it if you gave our podcast a review. Thanks, and if you want to support our podcast and work, then you can find us on patreoncom slash. The Conrad family. We will continue to travel full time and if you want to tag along, then please follow us on Facebook and Instagram at the Conrad family, and you can also read more than 100 blog posts on our website. The Conrad family. Until next time, make a wonderful day, thank you.
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