A family of 9 in northern England decided to not give their 7 children the mandatory schooling other kids have. Gemma and Lewis Rawnsley, parents of their seven children, Skye (13), Finlay (12), Phoenix (9), Pearl (8), Hunter (5), Zephyr (3), and Woolf (1) explain why their ‘feral’ kids live the way they do.
These kids do not go to school nor do they get homeschooling. The way kids in this house behave is different for many because they do not abide by the general rules and standards adults set. The Rawnsley parents let them make their own choices from what they want to eat to what they want to do for the day.
But the media has sensationalized their stories. And that has led to misunderstandings that even made some curse at the parents for being hands-off.
They get to choose what they want to eat.
Gemma, a 35-year-old woman, wants her kids to live their childhood times to the fullest. She doesn’t want them to ‘grow up too quickly’. She allows them to have what they want from piercings to other ‘adult-like activities’.
Gemma and Lewis believe that their children should not have too many boundaries set by adults. They let them have piercings but not without explaining to them what the process takes.
“I make calculated decisions so if something seems dangerous I know it has risk attached, but the benefits are that they learn responsibility,” Gemma explains.
Most people think the family is ‘feral’.
But Gemma denies that. She does let them make their own decisions, but she and partner are not laidback about it.
“It’s about letting them make decisions, it’s not a feckless attitude where we sit back and let it all happen. It looks like we’re feral, but that’s just one side of us. Feral is left to your own devices, but these kids are brought up to the nth degree.”
Gemma and Lewis don’t send them to school. Instead, they go to the park or wherever everyone finds the most fun.
“I didn’t have a stable upbringing. My mission has been about helping my kids have the most interesting, fun and happy lives in a house filled with the love I never had,” the mother explains.
Gemma had a past experience of living in a family filled with violence. She didn’t get the love she so much craved for and now, she wants her kids to get all the love they need. She and Lewis have only one aim: giving their 7 kids interesting, happy, fun, and fulfilling lives.
What some people might think as irresponsible parents, Gemma and Lewis think as the best way to let their kids learn about life hands-on. She always considers the pros and cons of whatever their kids want to do and if they can learn something out of it, she’ll let them do it.
Gemma thinks this is where they learn responsibilities. Pearl, 8, wanted to cut her hair and her mom handed her the clippers while teaching her how to use it.
Skye and Finley also went to school, but Gemma and Lewis didn’t think that the schooling system was right for them. While they lack academically, they get to learn whatever they want, when they want to and have gained life experiences other kids don’t have.
No specific curriculums are set and they learn to read and write when they want to. Phoenix learned to read when he was 9 and that was because he couldn’t read and write messages to his friends on Xbox.
The pair don’t like giving them tests and they don’t encourage that because school forces one-fits-all system, whereas they want to fully focus on giving what the kids need when they can take it. The kids learn what they can not base on their age, but their mental-preparedness and willingness.
Only three golden rules exist in the house: Don’t lie, don’t be offensive, and don’t hurt anyone.
She also tells them to always be respectful to anyone and always listens to what the parents tell them to do. Because they have shown love, they want their kids to be completely obedient, which is important under critical situations when adults need the kids to listen immediately even when they don’t understand, yet.
Gemma says she gets a lot of compliments on her children’s behavior.
And it’s worth noting that many media has failed to provide the correct information, In the video below, Gemma Rawnsley corrects several facts: her children do not swear nor do they have tattoos. The kids don’t play with pickaxes, because Hunter just happened to be there when Gemma was setting up foundations for the fence.
She added that only when they are old enough are they allowed to get tattoos. When Gemma asked her kids if they want tattoos, most of them answered with a no because it will hurt.
Gemma also explains that Zephyr once said the ‘s’ word which she took from Gemma. Gemma sometimes uses the word in the kitchen out of habit and once she heard that, she made Zephyr be in charge to let anyone else swear because she doesn’t think that is appropriate behavior.
Gemma also exposed that an interviewer came to her house asking provocative questions which led to sensationalized headlines of her family.
The family has rules, disciplines and what lacks in them is only adult-set education standards.
They are still happy, active and spoken out children!