their lives are their own
How do you raise a child to believe in freedom?
This question is in effect asking “How do I mould and shape my child into a person who believes that individuals should be free from unwanted moulding and shaping by others?”
If you are not coercing your child, what do you do instead of coercion?
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.
At what age should children first leave the house on their own, visit their friend next door on their own, go to the cinema on their own, hitchhike from coast to coast on their own, etc.?
In a relationship characterised by consent, on those occasions when the other person is warning us that our proposed course of action may be unwise, and explaining why, we have every reason to trust that such warnings are not attempts to thwart us and ruin our fun, but are actually important – that it is actually in our best interests to heed the warnings.
Which parenting style is Taking Children Seriously? Authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, or uninvolved?
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.
Children fending for themselves like adults?!
Children very much need our love and protection, our care and attention, fun and play, support and vast amounts of engagement with their ideas and interests. They are not born able to survive and thrive without us. Only in the case of children do people think that needing support, protection, assistance, information and other things implies not having the same freedom, rights, respect and control over their lives as others.
What is Taking Children Seriously?
Taking Children Seriously is a new VIEW of children – a non-paternalistic view: like other groups of human beings, children are people, not pets, prisoners or property. Full people whose lives are their own, not a different kind of person – full, equal humans who should no more be coerced and manipulated and moulded and shaped by others than we adults should be.
Both coercion and “doing nothing” are mistakes
Children have to do what they themselves think is right, with no pressure whatsoever – that’s what non-coercion amounts to – but they also have a right to be told morality as best we see it.
Criticism of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child