It is not true that screen time implies an isolated child cut off from family life. Screens and non-screens can be intertwined worlds filled with connection, joy, fun, and learning.
Babies are full human beings with astonishingly amazing creative minds. They are absolutely fascinating. Enjoy every precious moment with them.
People sometimes say explicitly that they are fallibilists, but inexplicably they are ‘saying’ that they are infallibilists. They say people are fallible and not omniscient, but they act as if they think people see the truth yet are wickedly choosing evil.
The magic of an explanation, of knowledge discovery, is that it is a win-win solution, and often a nearly effortless one at that.
If, when you were five, your parents had told you that you would thank them later for the coercive education to which they were subjecting you, would you have believed them or not? And what would have made you think that they were lying to you?
Children are no less creative and rational than adults, whether or not they yet have the explicit language in which to express themselves.
This question is like a coercively controlling husband asking: “If you are not coercing your wife, what do you do instead of coercion?” A paternalistic husband who controls his wife out of the best of intentions because he honestly believes that it is for her own good, could ask the same question.
The kind of expressions of approval that are not manipulative are the ones that bubble out of you without any forethought. Anytime you are wondering if what you were planning to say might be coercive approval, it probably is. Is what you are saying the kind of thing you would naturally say to an equal, a friend, or your boss, say? Or does the idea of saying this to your boss seem highly inappropriate?
Assuming you are happily married, would you ever be thinking: “If I am not allowed to coerce my wife, surely I am being coerced myself?”?! No! Never! Not even in your worst moment ever! You take your wife seriously. You are not trying to train or change or improve your wife. You are not trying to win at her expense. You want both of you to win! You love her just as she is. You two solve problems together rather than coercing each other.
The slight asymmetry is because the parent has chosen to put the child in the situation in which the child finds herself, whereas the child has not chosen to be in that situation or to put the parent in the situation.
Taking Children Seriously is not permissive, uninvolved, authoritarian or authoritative. Those approaches coerce children instead of taking them seriously as full people whose lives are their own.
Taking Children Seriously is a new VIEW of children—a non-paternalistic view: children do not actually need to be controlled for their own good. An Oxford Karl Popper Society talk.
Can one be taking children seriously if one defines ‘a good relationship’ in a way that is independent of how the children feel about it at the time?
Like many parents new to these ideas, Brooke was initially shocked by Taking Children Seriously, but two years in, much has changed. This is her story.
Karl Popper’s theory prevails because it solves problems other theories of the growth of knowledge fail to solve, it is a better explanation than its rivals, and it unifies ideas previously thought to be unconnected.
Coercion is stressful because it conflicts with most people’s wider ideas about morality, human relationships, and how to run a society, etc. Unless one mentions children or parenting, everyone agrees that consent-based solutions are better that coercion every time. That theory is held on some level by most people. They just suppress it in their parenting.
A Brit argues that an episode of The Simpsons is a moving classic of American culture.
The rewards of taking children seriously far outweigh any difficulty and it does get easier over time.
Does financial supporting our children mean they must obey us? Is it right to expect quid pro quo for our support?
Never stop reading to your children. I remember not wanting to read to my mother even when I could, in case she stopped reading to me. Being read to is one of life’s great pleasures we can all enjoy, even as adults.
Professor David Deutsch on why he himself values and plays video games, and why the arguments against them are mistaken.