"Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


"You just have to let go and trust it."

I read that on Facebook yesterday. It was simply a comment about - of all things - a keyboard application for an Android phone. One person was endorsing a particular type of keyboard, a friend said he'd tried it but couldn't get used to it, and the first responded with those words:

You just have to let go and trust it.

I realize this was just about a keyboard. It wasn't about life, but it might as well have been. Pure trust may well be the answer to a more peaceful life with our kids, with our spouses, and with ourselves.

I think of the issue of trust often when I'm answering common questions and fears about unschooling and mindful parenting especially.

What if they just want to play video games all day?
How will I know they're learning?
Won't they be lazy?
How will they get into college?
How will they learn right from wrong if I don't punish them?
How will they learn responsibility if I don't require them to do chores?

My answer to all of the above is this: Equip yourself with information, tools, and the support of people who have walked this walk ahead of you. And then let go and trust.... trust your children, trust yourself, and trust your instinct! When I first started this journey fourteen years ago, I read all the books... read all the Dr Sears and Alfie Kohn and John Holt and John Taylor Gatto. But I never would have accepted any of it, never would have taken any of it to heart if it didn't agree with my own instinct, my own inner voice, my own inner logic... that part of you that says, "Wow, this just makes sense to me!" I found that part of me, and I learned to trust it.

John Holt says,

Trust Children. Nothing could be more simple, or more difficult. Difficult because to trust children we must first learn to trust ourselves, and most of us were taught as children that we could not be trusted.

And it's true. It starts with letting go and learning to TRUST. Whether it's unschooling, parenting, or Android keyboards.

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