Tag Archives: adult control of children

Spare the Rod… & other Inappropriate Conventional Wisdom Dealing with Youth

Kids are obviously stakeholders in their own lives, and like most other stakeholders they generally want and deserve to have input into decisions made about the course of their lives, if not having the final say on those decisions. There seem to be a lot of adults, who play a stewardship role in kids’ lives as parents, teachers, etc. that don’t seem to get this. Or maybe relying on inappropriate myths or conventional cultural wisdom, they think their responsibility as stewards to these kids somehow trumps kids’ own right to self-direction.

We adults mostly understand this when dealing with other adults, and our society and most of its institutions basically “get it” that adult stakeholders should have input or even the final say in key decisions in their lives, unless they are say convicted criminals or judged mentally incompetent. This is a key element of the whole evolving concept of individualism over the past five centuries of human history and thought in the transition from feudal monarchies to citizen republics and free enterprise.

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Training Kids to Play?

I just read a Wall Street Journal article titled “Playing Nice: Teachers Learn to Help Kids Behave in School” which I find very disturbing. I feel it is one of those cases where the adults developing and implementing the programs highlighted in the article probably mean well, but in my mind as a parent, who believes strongly that a kid best understands and can best manage the direction and pace of their own development, and should be able to “play” without being carefully supervised and instructed by an adult. Continue reading →