Friday, August 8, 2014

Should children's free will be respected?

Today, there is a war going on- in classrooms and in homes- between children and their caregivers over whether children should be allowed to choose their own path.  In short, the battle is being fought because the free will of children is being usurped by the adults around them, many of whom (such as teachers) are agents of the state.

The basic concept behind adults imposing their will on children is the idea that children are too young and inexperienced to make their own decisions wisely.  Therefore their choice making ability is taken away from them in many instances. 

One key area where this occurs is in schooling.  Very rarely is the choice of whether to attend school, how often to attend school, or what to study in school given to the child. 
Instead, the decision is made by the state, which is believed to know what is better for the child than both the child and its parents.  Because schooling is such a time-consuming activity for children the inability of the child to have a say in this matter immediately gives the child of feeling of powerless over its life.  This can lead to feelings of anger and depression in the susceptible child which can last for many years and can end in violent actions or suicide.

Clearly, in the home, there is a need for all family members to act in a way that works for the group as a whole.  This may require some family members to curb some activities- such as making excess noise or mess.  Most children, when their behavior is explained to be disturbing to others, will be encouraged to modify their behavior accordingly.  This kind of "reigning in" of behavior is not only fair but reasonable.  After all, our respect for the free will of others also depends on their willingness to respect our free will in turn.  These are ideas that every child should be taught at the earliest opportunity.

As for the school system, for it to function in a more respectful way several changes are needed.  Children must be free to choose, at the earliest opportunity, according to the individuals cognitive capacity.  It is wrong to force any individual to be confined to any space if they are uncomfortable or unhappy there.  They must be given the freedom to choose what to study and when.  If, as a person matures, they believe they were wrong to miss studying a certain field when they were younger they should be free, at an older age, to study that subject.

By respecting the freedom of children to choose their own path many problems that currently plague society, such as juvenile delinquency, will in all likelihood disappear.  The need to rebel against the society is greatly lessened when the society respects the free will of its members, no matter what age they may be!

Sharka Todd


colin gregory said...

Please prove you're not a robot

Sharka Todd said...

I am a human being and I have the circuits to prove it!