Taking Children Seriously

Karl's picture
Submitted by Karl on Sat, 2010-09-25 18:31

Taking Children Seriously is a philosophical school that treats children as autonomous moral beings with the same rights as adults. One of the core beliefs of TCS is that children are just as rational as adults, they just know less (hence them making more obvious mistakes and being wrong more often.) As a consequence we should never force children to do anything against their will (this includes things like going to school or brushing their teeth.) Here is the website for more information
http://www.takingchildrenserio...

What are your thoughts on the truth of this theory and its compatibility with Objectivism?


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Okay. Just asking a

Rick Giles's picture

Okay. Just asking a question.

Thankyou for your time.

By all means bring this up again in future if anything occurs to you.

Oh gyod.

Olivia's picture

Is parenting a special class of property ownership then?

Hell yes! Duh.

Can you expand on this a bit please?

What's in it for me?

Give me the missing passage of Lock's Treatise II with all the philosophy you've got, I'm interested in your idea.

Fuck you. Do your own thinking on it.

Problem? None at all, so long as the person who says it can account for themselves.

You're acting like a parasitical leech Rick. I'm done with it.

It's a very intersting moral theory and I welcome it.

It's not a theory, parental ownership of children is self-evident, open your eyes!

It's not how I do things right now in my household but if your way is better than what I know I'll have a little Olivia revolution. I can see how we parents would get some major utilitarian gains from that shift of power.

In your household do you have your own children - or only step children? Because co/parenting step children who do not belong to you is a completely different scenario altogether in my opinion.

Are you saying one is owned

Rick Giles's picture

Are you saying one is owned by those one is dependent upon?
Yes, in the context of parenting, I am saying that.

Is parenting a special class of property ownership then? Can you expand on this a bit please? Are children intellectual property? Is it property that may be bought and sold on the open market? Why are kids not chattels? Give me the missing passage of Lock's Treatise II with all the philosophy you've got, I'm interested in your idea.

To me though, it was self-evident when my children were born they were literally my property

Have you subsequently used reason and evidence to derive your post-conception preconceptions?

Now, if I may ask you something... why do you have a problem with saying that children are the property of parents?

Of course you may.

Problem? None at all, so long as the person who says it can account for themselves. It's a very intersting moral theory and I welcome it. It's not how I do things right now in my household but if your way is better than what I know I'll have a little Olivia revolution. I can see how we parents would get some major utilitarian gains from that shift of power.

So, please lay it on me at last.

Try to keep context here Rick...

Olivia's picture

Are you saying one is owned by those one is dependent upon?

Yes, in the context of parenting, I am saying that.

In my view, parenthood is temporary ownership of children. Eventually they own themselves, as I do myself.

And "property" does not sum the relationship up either - it has many more features to it than that, unless the parent is a retard.

To me though, it was self-evident when my children were born they were literally my property until they would no longer need me for survival - and if they failed to become independent, autonomous beings along the way of their upbringing, it would probably be my fault for not making sure they learned how to survive.

Now, if I may ask you something... why do you have a problem with saying that children are the property of parents? If parents don't own them during their dependency, who does?

How about I charge you too

Rick Giles's picture

How about I charge you too and we call it even?

If TJ values education, the opposite of that would be ignorance - so where is a standard here?

Why, ignorance would itself be the thing valued. Likewise, hatred and contempt and indifference and mediocrity could be values. Indeed, I believe we could find real-world examples of people who esteem such things. Don't you agree?

If the TJ values you name were not able to be reversed, if hypocracy about them were not possible, then everyone would have to abide by them. But we know that is not the case do we not?

their guardianship belongs in the hands of their parents, their whole survival hangs off the efforts of those parents - otherwise they'd be subject to deprivation and probably die. They are owned by someone - and I feel deeply sorry for the ones who are not.

I understand you feel strongly that children are property. The unanswered question is why?

Are you saying one is owned by those one is dependent upon? Or that guardianship is the same thing as ownership? I'd like you to extract the principle in what you're saying here.

I feel like talking about prison staff and their guardianship over their dependents. Or perhaps a Virginian slave-owner with black slave dependents who owe their survival and status to him. But let's first clear up how it is you know what you know. Is this someone else's theory of parenting or your own?

Rick...

Olivia's picture

Property is a broad term that applies to things like intangibles whereas the word chattle narrows down what we mean so as to better understand the concept you are trying to pass on to me. Moral philosophy is hard enough without making the terms fuzzy, right?

It's chattel, not chattle, Mr. King of Fuzzy. Eye

Property is the right word.
When children are born they inherit their father's title (surname), their guardianship belongs in the hands of their parents, their whole survival hangs off the efforts of those parents - otherwise they'd be subject to deprivation and probably die. They are owned by someone - and I feel deeply sorry for the ones who are not. Children want to "belong" to someone, it gives them a sense of worth, identity and security until they develop those qualities themselves in their own right based on their own value systems.

I may just need to point out to you Rick, because you're you, that we are talking about the norm in parenting here... obviously some children are not wanted and are cruelly abused by those who own them. Those types of parents are sub-humans who do not deserve the guardianship of a small person to care for. In cases like that I am all for the law stepping in and taking their property off them.

If it is possible to employ the opposite standards to what TJ did wouldn't these also belong as your theory of what virtuous parenting is?

I don't see how it is possible, let me explain:

If TJ values education, the opposite of that would be ignorance - so where is a standard here?
If TJ values love and affection, the opposite of that would be hate and cold indifference - so again, where is a standard in that?
If TJ values his daughter developing accomplishments, the opposite of that would be a father who prefers a daughter to remain unaccomplished, so again, where is a standard in that?

That is why I say a father with opposite standards would have no standards at all to impose. Not cryptic, just logical.

I don't understand the rest of your post Rick, and to be honest you're starting to do my head in.

I appreciate you reflecting on this topic. I know there are Objectivist parenting blogs and such out there but I'm missing out on having anyone with your views to ask questions of, so thanks.

Next time I'm going to have to charge you on an hourly rate to make it worth my while, ok? Smiling

I appreciate you reflecting

Rick Giles's picture

I appreciate you reflecting on this topic. I know there are Objectivist parenting blogs and such out there but I'm missing out on having anyone with your views to ask questions of, so thanks.

Why not use the term which I actually used... property

Precision in language is going to help us understand better what we mean. Property is a broad term that applies to things like intangibles whereas the word chattle narrows down what we mean so as to better understand the concept you are trying to pass on to me. Moral philosophy is hard enough without making the terms fuzzy, right?

chattles - Items that are found within premises and are not affixed to the premises, which may be removed.

Is that the word you want?

I know it's hard for you not to do, but try not to complicate everything to the point where the conversation is not about the conversation!

I'll agree to hold off on that if it spares unnecessary complication. But I'm going to have to raise it again because I need to understand better why you don't think one set of your beliefs needs to be consistent with another.

Let's focus, for now, on your derivation of children as property due to the nature of parenthood?

They should have the right to do it as they see fit, their kids are their property and that equates to it being none of my business unless they ask me for input or harm their little ones physically

That stands on your principle that children are property being the correct one though, so how do you know?

Is science what scientists do? No, since scientists also drink beer and sleep and watch TV but those things are not synonyms for science.

Is flying what birds do? No, that's not the definition since swimming and nesting and hatching are also what birds do but are not flying.

I'm sure you can see a general principle there which you would accept. Yet, clearly you're not applying it in the case of parents if you say that parenting is whatever parents do and however they do it?

My original comment here included two beautiful letters from Jefferson to his young daughter...

There's no way bringing in that man's personal life examples around family could help settle this, especially not in support of your outlook. So, I didn't run with it and I suggest you don't either.

A father with opposite standards would have no standards at all to impose.

That's a bit cryptic. Are there standards that cannot be reversed or which can be hypocrafully treated?

If it is possible to employ the opposite standards to what TJ did wouldn't these also belong as your theory of what virtuous parenting is?

Rick...

Olivia's picture

But I don't see how that leads to a conclusion that offspring are chattles (if that's a fair term?) Please explain.

Why not use the term which I actually used... property.

The answer to your question is:
When my children were dependents, they BELONGED TO ME.
Their guardianship was MY RESPONSIBILITY.

And then, maybe it will become more clear where you stand on those other questions about how virtuous parents seem to hold subjective values and how this works in family life but not (say libertarians) in state-craft.

I'm not going to make this a conversation about State-craft, Rick, my original comment was about parenting and childrens' rights within family life. I know it's hard for you not to do, but try not to complicate everything to the point where the conversation is not about the conversation!

Parents will hold subjective values in family life - that's just the way it pans out - if those values are not moral or objective, then bummer for their offspring, that's all. I don't particularly care how other people parent - that's between them and their children.
They should have the right to do it as they see fit, their kids are their property and that equates to it being none of my business unless they ask me for input or harm their little ones physically.

My original comment here included two beautiful letters from Jefferson to his young daughter... I'm amazed that the only comment you could put forth after reading those was:

And I suppose you would also say that someone with the opposite standards to him would also be comepletely right in imposing those.

A father with opposite standards would have no standards at all to impose.

Why is it moral?

Rick Giles's picture

That children are in fact property is not derived from the fact that legislators have said so in print.

That's a relief to me because we hear people try that line from time to time and I have a hard time remaining respectful toward them.

It is derived from the nature of parenthood (to raise dependents into being independents)

Okay, that's pretty interesting. I've never seen it derived that way before and I can't see how you connected the dots. How does your theory work?

I agree with your premise above. We're not parents in order to raise children; We're parents in order to raise adults. Right?

But I don't see how that leads to a conclusion that offspring are chattles (if that's a fair term?) Please explain.

And then, maybe it will become more clear where you stand on those other questions about how virtuous parents seem to hold subjective values and how this works in family life but not (say libertarians) in state-craft.

Moral theory is a really tough topic, I appreciate your insight. Hope you've got a free weekend.

You have it wrong...

Olivia's picture

At face value you seem to be saying that this relationship between parents and children (ie that they are chattels) is derived from the fact that legislators have said so in print. If I've got that wrong please leap at the chance to correct that.

That children are in fact property is not derived from the fact that legislators have said so in print. It is derived from the nature of parenthood (to raise dependents into being independents) and in my view that law happens to be morally right.

Parents are responsible for

Rick Giles's picture

Parents are responsible for their children by law and that means children are their property

That is moral. If the parents aren't responsible for them, who is? You and I both would agree that the state should not be.

Don't try to turn this around on me just yet. You're telling the story.

Why is it moral? How did you arrive at this conclusion?

At face value you seem to be saying that this relationship between parents and children (ie that they are chattels) is derived from the fact that legislators have said so in print. If I've got that wrong please leap at the chance to correct that.

Really intersting topic, thanks.

Rick - first premise...

Olivia's picture

Parents are responsible for their children by law and that means children are their property

That is moral. If the parents aren't responsible for them, who is? You and I both would agree that the state should not be.

Parents are responsible for

Rick Giles's picture

Parents are responsible for their children by law and that means children are their property

I'm going to have to refute that on the grounds that morality is anterior to law-making. Statues are not the source of right and moral and true and the good or a philosopher's job would be reduced to being a reader of law. And, I'm surprised you esteem the incumbent New Zealand government so well that you credit them with being the progenitors of truth. Likewise past governments. And never mind about the complications of contradictory legal systems and jurisdictions throughout time and space...

If a child of mine was to turn around and say to me; "You don't own me!"
I would say; "Yes, at this stage in your life, I do own you."

On what basis? If on the legal positivist basis above then I think I can sweep that premise away if I have not done so already.

The job of a parent is to...hold a standard consistent with the *parent's* values.

I see a problem with that which is that your definition of a virtuous parent depends on subjective values. Parents in this world, and in our history, come from all walks of life and all sets of values. By your lights here, a virtuous parent can include one who crucified their young as the Carthaginians did or ate them or nurtured them liberally as I value, or beat them or drugged them as in the Dark Ages or held sexual bias against them as the Chinese do. As you can see, these formulations for what a parent's role is are purely contradictory.

What I notice about these letters is that he is completely unafraid of imposing his standards onto her...
But it is completely right.

And I suppose you would also say that someone with the opposite standards to him would also be comepletely right in imposing those. But this makes a contradiction of parenting because its definition becomes descriptive rather than being the moral inquiry we're attempting here.

And I'll challange you to the same question you've seen above. If it's well to use force to impose one's arbitrary standards on a population of children then why wouldn't that translate into state-craft? Oh, ye libertarian?

Apparently I also have no

Rick Giles's picture

Apparently I also have no clue what I am talking about

Haha. It's like you relax into leaning against a wall you've thought was there for ages and then fall into air because it actually never was, right? Much of our understanding, I think, about the world and children is like this until you go to take that lean. Very much something I went through too.

Is this the kind of force we are talking about?

For sure, there's only one kind of force as far as I know. Howevermany guises and shades...

Is this acceptable? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that an individual is allowed to pursue his/her happiness and No because the child is part of the parents household, and must subsequently follow the rules of the house

That appears to be a dubious principle if I understand the formulation correctly. If one finds oneself in a house or particular theater then they "must subsequently" follow the rules of that house? Or, that concentration camp? Or jail, or whatever? Surely this could apply where the association was voluntary. But I'd like you to try to convince me of how your principle (as I understand it) of obedience to the geography you happen to be in as always a moral must.

So how do you understand that a person, (perhaps my son) is initiating force against another (perhaps his father) by being at liberty concerning his own dental hygene?
I was not addressing force from the son to the father, but from the father to the son.

Yet, the way I see it, you are required to make a case for how the son is initiating force on such a father if you are saying the father's force is retaliatory.
The principle we're using here, I assume, is that initiation of force is wrong but retaliation against that wrong is justified. So, once again, if the father is just to use force it's because he's retaliating and I'm asking you what initiated act of force from the child the father is responding to?

What Mr. Wiig wants to do is bypass all that hassle and instead say, "Hey this is good for you. Dont question me on it. I know what's best for you. If you don't I will do x,y, or z". The method is fine, but, as you said, it may not make the child understand the value of dental hygiene.

First point, which I've already made, is that if we as libertarian philosophers accept that the human soul is so constructed then what business do we have opposing governments that fashion themselves that way?

Secondly, my study of moral values has shown me that unless there is free choice they are not possible. Someone who is forced to recite or act or do things is not really good and does not really value that thing. Values are matters of the individual. There simply is no way to "bypass all that hassle" of individual enlightenment and discovery of one's chosen values by their being imposed by Philosopher Kings or dictatorial parents no matter how well intended Mr. Wiig may be. But you go ahead and tell me differently.

Should we have to use force or coercion to get children to establish good habits or should we simply let them figure it out and help them along the way? Depends on the premises youre running under.

My deepest sympathy for the upbringing you describe. It sounds absolutly aweful and arbitrary and maybe that's why you turned to philosophy, as I did.

The premises I'm running under, as concerning that, is that the invisible hand of the market forces (ie reality) is the best way for children as it is for others to discover the virtues for living in reality. Better than the use of force for this.

Added benefits of this are,
1. The individual learns to genuinely esteem the object valued
2. The guide/parent doesn't spend their time playing cat and mouse
3. The student/child doesn't spend their days being the mouse
I really do believe that something great like ice cream or TV could become hated if it were forced upon a person. Likewise, if education or hygene were to be parented this way I would expect the child to come to hate education too.

Now, unlike my mother and father, I would not simply say that something is good "because I said so". Thats bullshit. Instead I would show them why it is good for them to produce x,y, and z habits.

Ugly. But, if you and I didn't have parents who were so morally simple/abstenent/clueless/transparent then I'm sure we'd not have been drawn so to philosophy and truth.

A few words yet between us to come, I think.

Children's rights etc...

Olivia's picture

in family life are actually quite simple, I think.

The goal of parenting is to raise them from being 100% dependent to 100% independent - and obviously, to enjoy the relationship which builds along the way.

Because children are totally dependent on parents for a good deal of their childhoods, their rights should give way to the final say of the parents. Parents are responsible for their children by law and that means children are their property - precious property.

If a child of mine was to turn around and say to me; "You don't own me!"
I would say; "Yes, at this stage in your life, I do own you."

But we would both know there will come a time soon when I do not.

The job of a parent is to provide for their childrens' needs, protect them from harm and to hold a standard consistent with the *parent's* values. I have no problem with an authoritarian approach toward parenting. Hopefully the standards held by the parents are rational and attainable (cleaning your teeth every night definitely is) - and hopefully there is a wide enough berth for those standards to be discussed and disputed if need be, but if a parent "overdoes" the authoritarian angle, the kind of relationship which develops will bear witness to that fact. Personally, I think children do very well when authority in the home is a foundation for the parent/child relationship and negotiations between them begin from that clear understanding.

I agree that children are for the most part very rational but they just know less than adults, but for a parent to hold as a principle never forcing a child to do something against their will is a reversal of who really holds authority over whom.

In this link... http://www.eyewitnesstohistory... Thomas Jefferson writes to his eleven year old daughter Patsy. I would imagine that Thomas was a very strong and beloved father. What I notice about these letters is that he is completely unafraid of imposing his standards onto her...

"The acquirements which I hope you will make under the tutors I have provided for you will render you more worthy of my love; and if they cannot increase it, they will prevent its diminution."

Can you imagine what a modern day shrink would do with that??!

But it is completely right.

Problems...

ding_an_sich's picture

Apparently I also have no clue what I am talking about and yes a lot of this comes from opinion.

What do we mean by force? The coercive kind? The son says to the father, "I will not brush my teeth!". While the father replies, "If you do not then I will spank you." Is this the kind of force we are talking about? I do grant that as coercive and I do see the moral implications of this. Is it immoral to do such a thing? I have never really thought of it as being immoral (on the grounds that it is the parents responsiblility to raise the child appropriately. But then what is appropriate?).

Note: Can the fact that the parent raised the child in such-and-such a way (towards a rational well-being) backfire? Yes. This can happen with any method. Children rebel. Some children would rather waste their time (such as me back in my teenage days) doing unproductive things instead of pursuing Math and Philosophy, or something of the sort. So we see that there is a hint of freedom involved; that the child is indeed desiring to pursue his/her own interests contrary to anothers. Is this acceptable? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that an individual is allowed to pursue his/her happiness and No because the child is part of the parents household, and must subsequently follow the rules of the house (unless he/she wants to move out. This, however, is a different story).

I was not addressing force from the son to the father, but from the father to the son. The father makes (forces?) the son to practice dental hygiene because he knows that it will benefit the son in the long run. He is using preventive measures so he, and his son, do not have to pay in the long run (the father with having to shell out money to pay for any dental work that would need to be done as a result of his son's poor hygenic habits, and the son with his ruined teeth, gums, etc.)

"I take the opposite route and I'll explain my reasoning by way of refuting Richard's method of parenting. We seek to help another person to value dental hygene because it's good for them, it is in their own interests."

This is exactly what Wiig wants as well; but what happens when the child refuses to brush his or her teeth? An answer would be that the child will learn; things will consequently follow as a result of the child not willing to practice dental hygiene e.g. other kids may not want to talk to them, their teeth will rot out, pain in the gums may follow, blah blah, blah. What Mr. Wiig wants to do is bypass all that hassle and instead say, "Hey this is good for you. Dont question me on it. I know what's best for you. If you don't I will do x,y, or z". The method is fine, but, as you said, it may not make the child understand the value of dental hygiene. From personal experience I can tell you that I was punished for almost every thing that I did (looking at porn, swearing at my parents, lying, lack of hygiene, etc., etc.). But hey that punishment helped me in the long run. The only thing it did not help me with was valuing education (which I did not do till after I graduated).

You do, nevertheless, pose a good point. Should we have to use force or coercion to get children to establish good habits or should we simply let them figure it out and help them along the way? Depends on the premises youre running under. If I were to have a child (thatll be the day!), I would expect him/her to abide by the rules in my house (property). Rules, for me, would come with punishments. Now, unlike my mother and father, I would not simply say that something is good "because I said so". Thats bullshit. Instead I would show them why it is good for them to produce x,y, and z habits. However, if they ever want to leave my house for any reason whatsoever, then fine. If you have not figured it out, I do hold a mixed view on how children should be brought up. They should be allowed to pursue their talents, but they are also to follow the rules of my house so long as they wish to remain on my property.

I hope that I have cleared up some problems here. The meaning of 'force' is an issue that needs to be addressed, along with some other tidbits concerning parenting. Also the last quote of mine you mentioned I would change that. A child can pursue his or her goals and they do indeed have the ability to. But the parent should also be involved in helping a child's goals come to fruition (be it that they are rational goals and not sitting around all day rotting ones brains out on the boobtube).

Hope this helps. And it is nice to talk to you as well.

Very pleased to be engaging

Rick Giles's picture

Very pleased to be engaging with you at last.

The force used for the defence of property and individuals is acceptable.

I accept this applys to situations of retaliation. So how do you understand that a person, (perhaps my son) is initiating force against another (perhaps his father) by being at liberty concerning his own dental hygene?

There are very few freedoms children should be given.

Is that fact or opinion? If it's a fact, how have you determined this?

I take the opposite route and I'll explain my reasoning by way of refuting Richard's method of parenting. We seek to help another person to value dental hygene because it's good for them, it is in their own interests.

Freedom to choose, external rewards, role-modelling, motivation, and praise send a positive signal that encourages and pursuades another person to associate value with an object. Compulsion, force, and propaganda cause people, especially the vulnerable, to obey perhaps but they will not value the object. Indeed, frequently when people are forced to pay for things they do not wish to pay for they do not esteem what they are buying.

The outcome of Richard's method, in my personal experience, is that the parent consumes much of their time and energy chasing the child while the child runs and fights back while the object itself never comes to be valued itself. Nobody wins.

If I'm wrong, if a household could work another way, why not the state? Libertarians need to be consistent.

Children are not born with the ability to pursue their goals. This comes from the parent

Again, that has not been my empirical experience. Where did you get this from and is it opinion?

Hmm...

ding_an_sich's picture

I would imagine a parent considers a child both property and an individual. But seeing as how I am not a parent, I really cannot address this as well as I would like to. It is a difficult question.

I still consider Mr. Wiig a Libertarian whilst using force to make his children practice good habits. I think Deontological Libertarianism deals with this. The force used for the defence of property and individuals is acceptable. Then again, it goes upon what 'defence' means.

There are very few freedoms children should be given. However, one of the freedoms that I do find most important is the freedom to practice and cultivate one's talents; but even then I find this to be ambiguous.

Children are not born with the ability to pursue their goals. This comes from the parent, in addition to other factors. In a word, they must be nurtured. They need to grow so that they can pursue their goals in a rational, hopefully in a way that was taught from their parents (assuming the parents are rational and know what the hell they are doing).

If TCS really does give

Rick Giles's picture

If TCS really does give children the same rights as adults, and doesn't even believe in making them brush their teeth against their will, then they are wackos.

How do you figure that?

Do you initiate force on children for not brushing their teeth? If so, is that your idea of being a libertarian?

We agree. My question was

Richard Wiig's picture

We agree. My question was more rhetorical. I was suggesting that children only have a few basic rights. I think they are in fact a kind of property. If TCS really does give children the same rights as adults, and doesn't even believe in making them brush their teeth against their will, then they are wackos.

Richard- In choosing to raise

Aaron's picture

Richard-
In choosing to raise a child (i.e. not aborting or giving up for adoption) a parent is willingly taking on a certain form of obligation. This minimum obligation is incredibly low - e.g. providing bare necessities for and not abusing the child - and I certainly hope that's lower than anyone would consider a 'good' parent. So in short I'd say no one has a right to a good parent, merely to not be neglected or abused. However, any parent who loves their child and wants to provide well for them to be healthy, rational, productive adults would still choose to set their own bar much higher than just a bare minimum to not have their child taken away.

Karl-
If you're interested in more ideas on parenting with Objectivist values, I recommend the Cultivating the Virtues blog and podcast.

Aaron

Is there such a thing as the

Richard Wiig's picture

Is there such a thing as the right to have good parents?

Childrens' rights are a

Aaron's picture

Childrens' rights are a damned hard issue. I think there are two rationalistic extremes that people who try to re-evaluate societal views on children can unfortunately tend to fall into - either:

1) considering children irrational and having no rights (i.e. as property), or
2) considering them fully rational and having same rights including to legal contracts, consent, etc. as adults.

I think both are wrong, and the nature of children isn't as simple as either of those, but those attitudes have attracted even a lot of Objectivist or libertarian thought. Even Peikoff made me cringe recently by referring to children as property. It sounds like the TCS folks may be treading dangerously close to #2.

Respecting children as autonomous beings with free will I think is a good approach, most consistent with Objectivism and good for helping them quickly get independence and efficacy. Certainly non-punitive discipline fits Objectivism, as does generally employing cognitive techniques (explain, don't just reward/punish, even to very small children) of communication and discipline rather than common behaviorism. Also along this line I think child-directed learning (i.e. letting them choose what they are interesting in learning) is the right approach rather than forced education. I sympathize with 'unschooling', though am leery of the term because of it also being used by odd fringes (such as those who think children have full rights of adults Smiling ). It sounds like TCS would be in line with all this.

Where I suspect TCS may go too far (though I did not learn enough in briefly going over their site to confirm) is not recognizing limits on children for 'life, limb, property'. That is, respect a child's autonomy, but force can be necessary to restrain them from doing something that would result in their death or irreparable injury (running in the street type examples), or prevent them from violating the rights (person or property) of others. I'm assuming you know more about TCS already to judge whether they recognize this kind of need or not and can comment further?

Aaron

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