“I agree that coercion should be minimised but you are surely not suggesting that gentle coercion would be a problem in cases where the parent is right and the child is in the wrong?”
That’s like saying: “I agree that coercion should be minimised but you are surely not suggesting that gentle coercion would be a problem in cases where the husband is right and the wife is in the wrong?”
If that does not look like a perfectly reasonable thing to say about an adult, why is it reasonable about a child?
How do we know for sure when we are right and our child is mistaken? Are we not fallible human beings? Being fallible implies that we can be mistaken including when we feel certain that we are right. And because we are fallible, there is no reliable way to know who is right and who is wrong.
Disagreements can either be resolved through reason, or they can be dealt with coercively.
- What do you have against coercion?
- Solving problems takes creativity
- A lack of forcefulness is good not bad
Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘Surely coercion is ok when the parent is right and the child is wrong?’, https://takingchildrenseriously.com/surely-coercion-is-ok-when-the-parent-is-right-and-the-child-is-wrong/
2 thoughts on “Surely coercion is ok when the parent is right and the child is wrong?”
What I find is that when I believe there is a *right* answer, I begin to control and coerce. To stay away from power dynamics you need to stay away from “right and wrong” thinking – that arrogance leads to fascist control of others. I apply this to your parenting philosophy too – you think it’s wrong to coerce children, and you’ve set about controlling other people, telling them they’re wrong….
Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you are saying, but it seems as if you are asserting that it is wrong to think in terms of “right and wrong”, and that you are right in contending that there is no right answer, so I am a bit confused by (what looks to me like) the internal inconsistency in what you are saying. ?
The idea that there is objective truth in matters of morality does not have to mean thinking that we know for sure what is right or wrong. As a fallibilist, I try to keep in mind that as a fallible human being I might be mistaken in any of my ideas including about right and wrong.