From a comment I posted on this blog. (As always, if you comment, please be respectful.)
The term “unparenting” is often used in inappropriate contexts when related to unschooling. If a parent is there and engaged with their child in some way, it’s parenting of some kind or another. It can’t be unparenting. It might be extremely relaxed parenting, but it’s still parenting.
The only thing that constitutes unparenting is when a parent is not there, and not engaged at all.
Seems to me, that this is a much bigger problem with kids who go to school than kids who are unschooled. How can a parent parent when their kids aren’t even there?
Unschooling doesn’t mean walking away and letting a kid do things without parental support; it’s the opposite – letting a kid be who they are and do what they do best with parental support securely in place. Unschooling means not basing a child’s education on school, which has a very specific and directed process. Just like a parent who uses negotiation and understanding to deal with bickering children is unangering, or unyelling. Anger and yelling aren’t the only way to deal with children bickering, just as school isn’t the only way to learn.
So, extreme unschooling isn’t unparenting, just as extreme unyelling isn’t unmediating.