From the archives: The original post was posted on 28th February, 2002
Is Taking Children Seriously ALWAYS POSSIBLE?
I think I have discovered the very interestingly wrong thing about this question.
In order to ask the question, one must have come to understand what Taking Children Seriously means (otherwise, the complex project of taking children seriously would not be presenting itself as a problem to you), and once one has come to such an understanding, it is no longer possible not to take children seriously.
One may fail to avoid coercing, and one may fail to provide one’s child sound advice, etc., etc., in particular circumstances, perhaps even in most circumstances, in small degree and/or large… but one cannot fail, ever again, to notice how one is taking one’s children in light of the knowledge one now has about Taking Children Seriously.
In other words, Taking Children Seriously is one of those types of knowledge that cannot be taken back – once understood, it constitutes a true paradigm shift within the individual mind.
One may “leave Taking Children Seriously” or “reject Taking Children Seriously” or “deny Taking Children Seriously” or “repress Taking Children Seriously,” etc., etc., but such leavetakings must always afterwards take Taking Children Seriously into account, and one will be in the same boat one was in when one was trying to “be Taking Children Seriously,” i.e., thinking about taking children seriously.
So, I’d say that the more interesting question is, “Is it possible to not take children seriously, once one has understood Taking Children Seriously?”
The answer to that question, IMFO, is “No.”
- What about instilling values like freedom, fallibilism and the idea of taking children seriously?
- Why does it sometimes hurt to think about Taking Children Seriously?
- Taking the free world and children seriously: an anecdote
Mary Schultz, 2002, ‘The paradigm shift’, https://takingchildrenseriously.com/the-paradigm-shift/