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‘Feral Families’ : Do You Agree With No Rules? Watch

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    yesterday on channel 4, there was a documentary about people bringing up their children out of school, with limited rules and as much freedom as possible. you might have watched it - it was called feral families.

    do you like this idea?
    do you agree with it?
    do you have anything to say about it?

    this could be an opportunity for us to debate about what we think about this way of raising kids!

    i’m not sure yet - does anyone have a particular opinion on this that they’d like to share?

    i’m excited to find out what you all think; anya
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    yesterday on channel 4, there was a documentary about people bringing up their children out of school, with limited rules and as much freedom as possible. you might have watched it - it was called feral families.

    do you like this idea?
    do you agree with it?
    do you have anything to say about it?

    this could be an opportunity for us to debate about what we think about this way of raising kids!

    i’m not sure yet - does anyone have a particular opinion on this that they’d like to share?

    i’m excited to find out what you all think; anya
    Most real feral families don't live in a world of no rules. They live in a world of arbitrary punishments for breaches of undisclosed rules.

    If you watch a parent with an out of control child what you see is a child for whom no boundaries are set but where the child is punished without warning when the child's behaviour becomes sufficiently annoying to the parent.

    There was an example of a child taking ice cream in the middle of the night. I bet most feral children would be punished for that without ever being previously taught that this was not allowed.
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    I am legal guardian to one of my grandchildren who is now 18. I home educated him and he never attended school. While we mixed with his peers at group activities etc, there were many families who could be called 'feral' among them.
    Some of them were at the extreme end of feral - no rules, absolute little tossers who would just do, say, and behave any way they liked with no consequences to others in the group. Parents would smile benignly at their children and to anyone who complained about their children's behaviour. However, there were other families who lived a similar lifestyle - as the above with eating ice cream in the middle of the night - that story has been done to death in the media, and the purpose of this is to give a more extreme view of those of us who home educated our grandchildren/children. There was one American family who used to come to the group activities. He was ex-military and now a Pastor. Wife was the epitomy of a Stepford Wife. Kids were little buggers. He made his sons wooden swords and they used to go around bashing the other kids with them. His reasoning was that they were 'expressing themselves'. I won't print on here the conversation I had with him when one of them hit my grandson over the head with his wooden sword and we ended up in A&E with my grandson having concussion.
    I had friends in the home schooling community who lived a very relaxed, laid back way of life. Children ate what they wanted, when they wanted, house was a tip. The children were always happy, polite and well-adjusted, academically bright, and have done very well. The lifestyle wasn't for me but I saw both ends of the spectrum. Much of the time, these parents don't look ahead to the future when their children will be adults and have to move on to the world of study/work where there will be rules like it or not,
    There is an increase in home education in the UK. Parents deregister their children from school because they feel the school doesn't meet their children's needs, autistic, asperges, and other issues where funding has dropped off and parents want to protect their children so home educate them. Then there are those who home educate from the beginning for many reasons - that they want to live outside the system, and myself, where we live in an area where the schools aren't that great and my grandson had developmental issues and heart trouble. The picture of home educators in the programme are not the norm by any means. Most of us just want to do the best we can for our children/grandchildren.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Most real feral families don't live in a world of no rules. They live in a world of arbitrary punishments for breaches of undisclosed rules.

    If you watch a parent with an out of control child what you see is a child for whom no boundaries are set but where the child is punished without warning when the child's behaviour becomes sufficiently annoying to the parent.

    There was an example of a child taking ice cream in the middle of the night. I bet most feral children would be punished for that without ever being previously taught that this was not allowed.
    yes i suppose that’s true - but i think what they’re really getting is the new trend of no-rules parenting rather than what you might think are ‘real feral families’
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    (Original post by Seamus123)
    I am legal guardian to one of my grandchildren who is now 18. I home educated him and he never attended school. While we mixed with his peers at group activities etc, there were many families who could be called 'feral' among them.
    Some of them were at the extreme end of feral - no rules, absolute little tossers who would just do, say, and behave any way they liked with no consequences to others in the group. Parents would smile benignly at their children and to anyone who complained about their children's behaviour. However, there were other families who lived a similar lifestyle - as the above with eating ice cream in the middle of the night - that story has been done to death in the media, and the purpose of this is to give a more extreme view of those of us who home educated our grandchildren/children. There was one American family who used to come to the group activities. He was ex-military and now a Pastor. Wife was the epitomy of a Stepford Wife. Kids were little buggers. He made his sons wooden swords and they used to go around bashing the other kids with them. His reasoning was that they were 'expressing themselves'. I won't print on here the conversation I had with him when one of them hit my grandson over the head with his wooden sword and we ended up in A&E with my grandson having concussion.
    I had friends in the home schooling community who lived a very relaxed, laid back way of life. Children ate what they wanted, when they wanted, house was a tip. The children were always happy, polite and well-adjusted, academically bright, and have done very well. The lifestyle wasn't for me but I saw both ends of the spectrum. Much of the time, these parents don't look ahead to the future when their children will be adults and have to move on to the world of study/work where there will be rules like it or not,
    There is an increase in home education in the UK. Parents deregister their children from school because they feel the school doesn't meet their children's needs, autistic, asperges, and other issues where funding has dropped off and parents want to protect their children so home educate them. Then there are those who home educate from the beginning for many reasons - that they want to live outside the system, and myself, where we live in an area where the schools aren't that great and my grandson had developmental issues and heart trouble. The picture of home educators in the programme are not the norm by any means. Most of us just want to do the best we can for our children/grandchildren.
    i would definitely agree - i don’t think it’s a programme to show what homeschooling is like, but instead a programme to show what its like to raise your children with no rules. in fact in the show they did make a point that although some of the children had been raised not going to school, the parents accepted some of the older one’s decisions to have a trail at school. despite deciding not to in the end, these children were given the choice and opportunity to try what they liked.

    but yes, i think every home educator is different so it would be hard to portray it in a tv programme. for certain, a large number of us would want to give our children/grandchildren the best start in life.

    thanks for your input.
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    yes i suppose that’s true - but i think what they’re really getting is the new trend of no-rules parenting rather than what you might think are ‘real feral families’
    I don't think the trend is new and I don't think feral children are the normal outcome. In that sense I think the television is unrepresentative of where feral children come from.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    I don't think the trend is new and I don't think feral children are the normal outcome. In that sense I think the television is unrepresentative of where feral children come from.
    ok fair enough
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    yesterday on channel 4, there was a documentary about people bringing up their children out of school, with limited rules and as much freedom as possible. you might have watched it - it was called feral families.

    do you like this idea?
    do you agree with it?
    do you have anything to say about it?

    this could be an opportunity for us to debate about what we think about this way of raising kids!

    i’m not sure yet - does anyone have a particular opinion on this that they’d like to share?

    i’m excited to find out what you all think; anya
    I watched it and I personally don't agree with it. In my opinion, the children will grow up without any qualifications and be unable to get any decent, good-paying jobs. It's not like 50 years ago where you could go to an employer saying "I want a job" and they say "see you Monday". You need qualifications nowadays.

    Also, they'll grow up thinking they can do whatever they want and not to be stopped. I did see the parents telling them what to do sometimes, but in my opinion it's just not enough.

    I could not raise my kids like this. Especially with the bedtimes - I need my sleep so my kids will be in bed at a good time! I saw the dad saying it's 11:30pm and all the kids are still up, he looked exhausted!
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    (Original post by DrawTheLine)
    I watched it and I personally don't agree with it. In my opinion, the children will grow up without any qualifications and be unable to get any decent, good-paying jobs. It's not like 50 years ago where you could go to an employer saying "I want a job" and they say "see you Monday". You need qualifications nowadays.

    Also, they'll grow up thinking they can do whatever they want and not to be stopped. I did see the parents telling them what to do sometimes, but in my opinion it's just not enough.

    I could not raise my kids like this. Especially with the bedtimes - I need my sleep so my kids will be in bed at a good time! I saw the dad saying it's 11:30pm and all the kids are still up, he looked exhausted!
    i definitely agree that the uncertainty of the child’s future is worrying - i know in the show they said they didn’t want their children working in factories or offices, but there’s a limited number of jobs you can do without qualifications. i suppose you could start a business but it’s not guaranteed you’ll get anything out of it, it’s such a wild card - and yes, they wouldn’t have basic discipline for a work environment.

    it seems only to be for people who think in a certain way - they obviously want their kids to have freedom while they’re young but looking ahead, is it desirable? a lot of people would argue not... and the bedtimes! it’s actually unhealthy for those children if they don’t get the required amount of sleep (i don’t know how much they’re getting so i can’t jump to conclusions but...)

    thanks for your input
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    yesterday on channel 4, there was a documentary about people bringing up their children out of school, with limited rules and as much freedom as possible. you might have watched it - it was called feral families.

    do you like this idea?
    do you agree with it?
    do you have anything to say about it?

    this could be an opportunity for us to debate about what we think about this way of raising kids!

    i’m not sure yet - does anyone have a particular opinion on this that they’d like to share?

    i’m excited to find out what you all think; anya
    lmao. is this what the world has come to?
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    i definitely agree that the uncertainty of the child’s future is worrying - i know in the show they said they didn’t want their children working in factories or offices, but there’s a limited number of jobs you can do without qualifications. i suppose you could start a business but it’s not guaranteed you’ll get anything out of it, it’s such a wild card - and yes, they wouldn’t have basic discipline for a work environment.

    it seems only to be for people who think in a certain way - they obviously want their kids to have freedom while they’re young but looking ahead, is it desirable? a lot of people would argue not... and the bedtimes! it’s actually unhealthy for those children if they don’t get the required amount of sleep (i don’t know how much they’re getting so i can’t jump to conclusions but...)

    thanks for your input
    Personally I think it would be better for parents to give their children freedom as they get older into teenage years. As a young child, they're relying on their parents to guide them and help them figure out the world. When they're a teenager, they've figured out so can have more freedom. I think that'll be the more successful way of parenting in my opinion.
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    (Original post by nulli tertius)
    Most real feral families don't live in a world of no rules. They live in a world of arbitrary punishments for breaches of undisclosed rules.

    If you watch a parent with an out of control child what you see is a child for whom no boundaries are set but where the child is punished without warning when the child's behaviour becomes sufficiently annoying to the parent.

    There was an example of a child taking ice cream in the middle of the night. I bet most feral children would be punished for that without ever being previously taught that this was not allowed.

    The parents on TV all seemed to be well motivated people who've had a good sit down and made a decision about having different rules to most people. Them having no rules or raising feral children is a pretence. In those families there might not be a rule against helping yourself to ice cream day or night... but Id bet there's a rule against kicking the fence down and taking a dump in the neighbour's garden.

    I think the real feral child problem, which we'll probably only be seeing documentaries about where the children and parents are seen through long lenses and have had their faces pixilated out, is caused by parents who aren't trying to be unconventional but are just failing.
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    (Original post by garethbale)
    lmao. is this what the world has come to?
    it appears so looool :/
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    (Original post by DrawTheLine)
    Personally I think it would be better for parents to give their children freedom as they get older into teenage years. As a young child, they're relying on their parents to guide them and help them figure out the world. When they're a teenager, they've figured out so can have more freedom. I think that'll be the more successful way of parenting in my opinion.
    yeah i think that’s probably a better way of parenting too
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    The parents on TV all seemed to be well motivated people who've had a good sit down and made a decision about having different rules to most people. Them having no rules or raising feral children is a pretence. In those families there might not be a rule against helping yourself to ice cream day or night... but Id bet there's a rule against kicking the fence down and taking a dump in the neighbour's garden.

    I think the real feral child problem, which we'll probably only be seeing documentaries about where the children and parents are seen through long lenses and have had their faces pixilated out, is caused by parents who aren't trying to be unconventional but are just failing.
    Exactly
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    (Original post by garethbale)
    lmao. is this what the world has come to?
    I suppose that as a society, we are more or less free to bring our children up as we please unlike other countries. But in terms of how this type of family is damaging to society, well I don't think there are enough of them to have any long-term negative effect. For example, my 7 children didn't wear school uniform in primary school and neither did I allow homework at the primary stage. It wasn't popular with the school, but it was accepted that as a parent that was how I did things and that was that. It was talked about locally, but not in a negative way and I was always active within their schools as a parent governor with fundraising etc.
    There isn't any right way of parenting and because the families featured in the programme are different and have different values, that doesn't make them bad parents. I'm sure there are many people who think they are, but then again I used to live in a very middle class area where we have the grammar schools and there was constant competition between local wealthy families about whose children could academically achieve the most, and for some of those children I attended more than one of their funerals after they had committed suicide because they couldn't take the pressure put on them by their parents.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    The parents on TV all seemed to be well motivated people who've had a good sit down and made a decision about having different rules to most people. Them having no rules or raising feral children is a pretence. In those families there might not be a rule against helping yourself to ice cream day or night... but Id bet there's a rule against kicking the fence down and taking a dump in the neighbour's garden.

    I think the real feral child problem, which we'll probably only be seeing documentaries about where the children and parents are seen through long lenses and have had their faces pixilated out, is caused by parents who aren't trying to be unconventional but are just failing.
    yeah in some instances in the programme there were rules - i think in one family they did have a set time to go to bed - so it wasn’t all no-rules.

    there’s definitely many different ways of parenting in society at the moment!
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    (Original post by Seamus123)
    I suppose that as a society, we are more or less free to bring our children up as we please unlike other countries. But in terms of how this type of family is damaging to society, well I don't think there are enough of them to have any long-term negative effect. For example, my 7 children didn't wear school uniform in primary school and neither did I allow homework at the primary stage. It wasn't popular with the school, but it was accepted that as a parent that was how I did things and that was that. It was talked about locally, but not in a negative way and I was always active within their schools as a parent governor with fundraising etc.
    There isn't any right way of parenting and because the families featured in the programme are different and have different values, that doesn't make them bad parents. I'm sure there are many people who think they are, but then again I used to live in a very middle class area where we have the grammar schools and there was constant competition between local wealthy families about whose children could academically achieve the most, and for some of those children I attended more than one of their funerals after they had committed suicide because they couldn't take the pressure put on them by their parents.
    that’s sad - children shouldn’t feel THAT pressurised to achieve

    i agree that there is no right way of parenting, after all as you said, you’re free to do whatever you like!
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    (Original post by clouddbubbles)
    i definitely agree that the uncertainty of the child’s future is worrying - i know in the show they said they didn’t want their children working in factories or offices, but there’s a limited number of jobs you can do without qualifications. i suppose you could start a business but it’s not guaranteed you’ll get anything out of it, it’s such a wild card - and yes, they wouldn’t have basic discipline for a work environment.

    it seems only to be for people who think in a certain way - they obviously want their kids to have freedom while they’re young but looking ahead, is it desirable? a lot of people would argue not... and the bedtimes! it’s actually unhealthy for those children if they don’t get the required amount of sleep (i don’t know how much they’re getting so i can’t jump to conclusions but...)

    thanks for your input
    Off the top of my head all the kids were fairly young... probably it's not the end of the world if you haven't got literacy and numeracy by year 7, but you're going to need literacy and numeracy to run a business unless you're talking about low end 'self employment' in the gig economy - which really means working for someone else who can cope with the paperwork and percentages etc.
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    (Original post by Joinedup)
    Off the top of my head all the kids were fairly young... probably it's not the end of the world if you haven't got literacy and numeracy by year 7, but you're going to need literacy and numeracy to run a business unless you're talking about low end 'self employment' in the gig economy - which really means working for someone else who can cope with the paperwork and percentages etc.
    oh yeah - true!
    and yes, they were all (except 3) younger than high school age and the 3 that were over 12 did have trials of education or tutoring.

    so i’d agree with you in that with younger children it doesn’t really matter although they should have opportunity to develop.
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