Re: Raising kids [was Re: Freedom or death? ]
Thu, 21 Aug 1997 13:53:39 -0400 (EDT)

Damien R. Sullivan wrote:

> > > In the long-term we will have sensory-rich physically safe environments
> > > both adults and children. [snip] If children are in an environment
where they
> > > are physically safe there is no need for any such parenting.
> Err, I think protecting children from their physical environment is
> probably the smaller part of parenting, at least by the time they're age
> 7 or so. The main function of raising kids is teaching them, and while
> part of that is physically practical stuff, a very large part of
> parenting is (or should be) civilizing the brats. Children do not raise
> themselves well. _Lord of the Flies_ and gangs and all that. Our
> progress in manipulating the physical environment has been coupled with
> progress in learning how to get along with each other in pleasant ways,
> and a pack of kids isn't going to recapitulate thousands of years of
> development in either field without substantial guidance.

Firstly, _Lord of the Flies_ is about 'civilised' children put in a situation
where their 'civilised' values failed them, and gangs are rebellion against
authority - both are products of civilisation. I was suggesting a world of
*learning* without *teaching* (used in terms of giving instruction rather
than inspiration). You'd be amazed how much a child learns of its own accord
when not being taught, seeing and doing are far greater tools than being

I'm not suggesting keeping children in isolation, we will still be there
offering the usual advice. Let's just do away with the current parent/child
hierarchy, children can learn from their parent and parents can learn from
their children as and when they want.