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bloodrose wrote

I consider myself an anarchist parent. As much as possible, I behave as my child's caretaker, not her authority. I find the prevailing attitudes in our society of child ownership to be gross. The idea that I own my child and am allowed to control her is just disgusting to me. I didn't come to my ideals through reading anarchist parenting material (I did buy some zines but they weren't helpful). I came to my philosophy from a framework of empathy.

When my child was a newborn, people told me I needed to make lots of noise while she was sleeping so that she would become a heavy sleeper. My first thought was that I would hate if someone did that to me so I wouldn't want to do it to her. I then looked it up and guess what, light or heavy sleeper is not trainable. People are literally disturbing their babies' sleep to train them like they're animals.

Sometimes, though, I use the authority society has afforded me over her. I feel I don't have a better way. When we cross streets, I make her hold my hand or be held across the street. She's 4 now so I'm constantly explaining to her why; that cars can't see her. It sucks but cars exist. I have to disallow her from playing at the park near my apartment by herself. I tried to let her go by herself once and a neighbor walked off with her (!). While she can handle being alone at a park, society won't let me leave her alone.

My latest struggle is the struggle to feed her well. She desperately wants McDonald's all the time. But working from an empathy framework, I tried to figure out what she likes about McDonald's and figured out it's the toy. So, once a week, she gets a toy and a beyond meat burger. This feels like me being authoritative but at the same time, I don't know how to get her to understand health over the addictive qualities of corporate food.