It would be lovely to have lots of new Taking Children Seriously voices on this site. Feel free to submit any of your own original writing in any form, from articles to scrappy notes.
How many words? The answer is: whatever length your piece naturally seems to need. If I must be more specific, shoot for 300-1500 words, but in no way stress about it if it is only 200 words, or if it ends up being 3000 words. (I am only mentioning this because four people have asked.)
Audience? Primarily parents: parents taking their children seriously, parents exploring the idea of taking their children seriously, parents curious about the idea, parents who are wondering why other parents might find this a good idea.
Style/tone/anything to bear in mind? Note that these are not criteria for inclusion—write how it is natural for you to write—I am only mentioning this because three people have asked: fallibilist, optimistic, kind, playful; with a can-do spirit of “problems are soluble” (and we can actually solve them). Equanimity, mildness, gentleness preferable (vs angry, outraged, lecturing style). (Regrettably, you can find examples of the latter in my earlier writings.)
Violating privacy? Several parents taking their children seriously have rightly expressed concerns about violating their children’s or others’ privacy. Rest assured that I share that concern. Such issues are very easy to fix: everything goes through an editing process, and before your piece goes up on the site, together we will edit whatever you submit until we are both happy with it. (But to give you a clue: instead of writing “My child William John Henry Smith, who will be 7 on 1st October, and is a pupil at Mrs Sharp’s School in Boggy Bottom, near Abbots Langley in Hertfordshire, did [lots of embarrassing details here] …”, say: “Suppose a child…” and so on.) Just write it however is natural to you and we will edit it together until we are both happy with it.
Here are a few ideas:
- paint a word picture of what Taking Children Seriously life looks like in practice
- write a short note mentioning an insight you have had
- write about a problem you have had in taking your children seriously, and how you solved it
- write about a problem parents might have in taking their children seriously, and your ideas for possible solutions
- write about the kinds of things that facilitate solving problems—possible approaches to the process of solving problems—things that seem to make a difference
- write about your experience of taking your children seriously
- write about a breakdown or breakthrough
- write a book review
- write a Taking Children Seriously story
- draw a Taking Children Seriously cartoon
- write about some aspect of what is wrong with mainstream parenting, and how we improve on that
- write a piece highlighting the difference between Taking Children Seriously and a seemingly related idea
- write something highlighting the coerciveness of less obvious, more subtle things
- write a critique of any currently popular issue in or style of parenting
- write about a taking-children-seriously-related breakthrough or insight you have had as a result of watching a film, doing a course, or reading a novel or any other book
- write about a philosophical idea or argument and its practical implications in taking children seriously
- write about how knowledge grows and how children (people) learn
- write about how we can improve our relationships with our children
- write a deep philosophical explanatory argument
- write a cutting-edge article on a subtle issue
No doubt you have an even better idea than any of the above!
If there is something you are wrestling with, confused about, struggling with, or you have a hitherto unsolved problem in taking your children seriously, or you think Taking Children Seriously is mistaken in some way and want to write something critical, or you think that a particular statement or article on the site is mistaken and you want to write a piece correcting that mistake, or if there is a critical question you would like to see addressed (or if you have any question!), please feel free to send that too. Whilst this site is for pieces from a Taking Children Seriously perspective, and I will not publish pieces advocating not taking children seriously (except perhaps with a Taking Children Seriously rebuttal), that still leaves a lot of room for disagreements, and I still very much welcome all your criticisms, issues, problems, questions and concerns, whether from a more conventional perspective or otherwise. My own ideas have evolved considerably over the 50 years I have been thinking about this, including recently, often as a result of criticism from others (including my beloved children), or from thinking about problems and issues other parents have raised, so please do write. Everything on this site is conjectural anyway. See: How to read this site
If you would like to write something, please email your submission to: submissions3hf4 at this site’s domain. Please state what attribution (name) you want added in the event that your piece is going to appear. And for copyright reasons, please explicitly confirm that your submission is your own writing, not someone else’s.
Photos: If you would like to send in photos of yourself from when you were a child, to be used on the site, that would be much appreciated. If there is more than one child identifiable in the photo, please be sure the other person(s) consent(s) to their photo being used. Please DO NOT send photos of your children. Whilst they might be fine with it now, sometimes people change their minds later, so to minimise that risk, Lulie came up with the brilliant idea of using photos from our own childhoods instead of photos of existing children.
Sarah Fitz-Claridge, ‘Would you like to write for this site?’, https://takingchildrenseriously.com/would-you-like-to-write-for-this-site/