Sunday, February 23, 2014

Taking Children Seriously as People

"We don't yet know, above all, what the world might be like if children were to grow up without being subjected to humiliation, if parents would respect them and take them seriously as people."
~ Alice Miller

Children are a unique gift to society due to their spontaneity, enthusiasm and curiosity. Parents and grandparents would agree that having children around adds a joyful presence to life. Seeing things through the eyes of a child is like being a child again.

Do we cherish this child's view of the world? For a while we do, but when our children reach a predetermined age we march them off to school where their view is unimportant and the rule, little children should be seen and not heard prevails. School is a humiliating experience for many children - the slow, the divergent thinkers, the gifted, the disabled to name but a few groups of disenfranchised groups within our schooling system. Not all children are ready for formal schooling at the age of 5 or 6. We know that boys mature later and probably don't "fit" into a school environment until the age of 7 or 8. In fact I would argue that none of our children are ever ready for school as it is institutionalized now. Schools are about social control, not education.

What do you think?


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