Are your children free to follow their own interests?

From the archives: Posted on 6th March, 1996

A poster wrote:

“My husband and I have lived without a TV for the eight years we’ve been married, and we plan never to get one. We think we’re a better couple for not having one, and we think our children will have richer lives and be closer to us if we never get one.

However, we expect that some day the children will probably ask us to get one. According to your non-coercive philosophy, how would you personally justify saying no to such a request; or, conversely, how would you justify giving in? I’m not so much asking, ‘What would you say to the kids’ but rather ‘How would your beliefs about parenting determine your choice.’”

Compare:

We have lived without a piano for the eight years we’ve been married, and we plan never to get one. We think we’re a better couple for not having one, and we think our children will have richer lives and be closer to us if they didn’t go off and spend hours practicing. However, we expect that some day the children might want to learn to play the piano….

This is not meant to be sarcastic or any such thing. The question is simple: assuming your children have interests different from yours, are they going to be able to follow those interests, or not?

Kevin Schoedel, 1996, ‘Are your children free to follow their own interests?’, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/are-your-children-free-to-follow-their-own-interests/