Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Young Punks.

Punk: A young person, especially a member of a rebellious counterculture group.

Anarchist: It seeks to diminish or even abolish authority in the conduct of human relations.

I am raising punks. Anarchist punks. 3 of them. Maybe more.

The alternative parenting bubble I live in seems to be mostly inhabited by 2 groups- punks (& other alternative types appropriate to the era during which they came of age) & conservative people devout to various religions. Seems like an odd convergence, but it really isn't. We all live outside the largely secular, conformist mainstream that encompasses most of North America. We all believe that mainstream society & culture has more potential to hurt our children than to help them grow safely. We all want better for our families & are finding better, more often than not, on the fringes of society.

The punk scene has always centred around questioning &/or rejecting authority, so it should come as no surprise that as they become parents, those in the counterculture will question & reject the norms around birth & parenting too. Hospital birth? Fuck that. Public school? Fuck that too. And fuck your vaccines, your processed garbage food and your behaviouralist parenting too.

Wow, I sound angry, don't I?! That's because I am. I am angry that in order to birth my babies safely, to feed them in a healthy way, to educate them in a way that respects their individuality, I have to say fuck so much. Really. I am angry that it is so much work. Why do I have to be fierce to protect my kids? You mean society won't do that for me? Hell no, they won't. It is up to me & their dad. So I choose to raise tiny little anarchist punks.

I don't make them share. I don't make them go to school. I don't make them eat junk food that will kill them before their time, making them sick on the way there. I don't subject them to public health policy that I am nowhere near convinced is in their best interest. I don't make them follow rules that don't make sense. I let them choose their own birth day.

I am teaching them to question authority. Yes, even mine. I certainly do say "Because I am your mama & I said so!!" more often than I ever intended to, but I also am ok with them standing up to me. I am fierce, I can get over that. We talk about how to be safe in the world, how to make their own choices & be responsible for those outcomes. I let them fall, cry, hurt. I help them get back up.

I am teaching them that the world is good, despite the negative aspects. I point out how many people love them, how we can always count on friends to be there for us. I make sure our door is always open & that there is always food & drink & friendship to share with anyone who shows up at it.

I am teaching them to rock out- to sing and scream and dance their joys & frustrations loudly enough that the heavens will hear them. I am teaching them to love art, music, the land, everything that holds beauty. I want them to trust the earth we stand on, the plants & animals & people that grow on it. I want them to travel, so they see that our culture, our political system, our way of being is not the only one.

I am teaching them to take care of themselves. To eat, sleep, make good food from scratch, to move their bodies as much as they need. I want them to care for their souls by having integrity. I want them to be intuitive, spiritual beings who know God. Whoever that is. I want them to love; themselves & others.

I want them to stand up, to speak up, when they see something wrong. I want them to say "shut up" when they hear bigotry, to say "fuck that" when they see violence. I want them to always be willing to help those being marginalised. I want them to know they are perfect beings worthy of everything good this life has to offer them. I want to empower them to take it if no one is giving that to them.

I am raising punks. Maybe you should too.

By Arie Brentnall-Compton


  1. *claps hands* Awesome Arie!!! I agree with you 100%!!!

  2. Just wanted to say I love this post, and I know what you mean about the "odd convergence" - even before I became a parent, it seemed like I ended up drawn to an odd assortment of punk, goth, etc people & conservative religious followers (mostly Messianic type Christians, Mormons, and more than a few Muslim women).

    I think it has to do with being outside of the mainstream for so long (or consciously rejecting it) that it no longer has such an influence, then you end up seeking the best for your family instead of drifting along in the mainstream.

  3. 任何你憂慮的事,你都應該去採取一點行動,不要只是在那邊想 ..................................................

  4. I absolutely agree with you on this! My husband and I are pregnant with our first little punk-to-be and fully intend to raise him or her in the way you seem to be raising yours. Amen to all that you wrote...including the "fuck that"s!