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Taking Children Seriously
Screens as a natural, integrated, positive part of life
How will credential-less children survive?
What do you mean by ‘fallible’?
“If you do X, I will give you Y”
What if your baby keeps grabbing your nose ring and cannot be reasoned with?
How do you raise a child to believe in freedom?
Free to learn: the immorality of compulsory schools
Instead of Cry It Out, try bedtime anarchy
Will a child not made to do chores ever develop a work ethic? And if not, how will they ever have a good life?
Dead Poets Society: a film review
Dead Poets Society is not taking children seriously
Limiting your children’s screen time?
What if your child runs into traffic?￼
Criticism scheduling and privacy
The constraints of childhood
Reluctant at drop-off yet later does not want to leave?
Why do you like IFS but not ‘Self-led parenting’?
What do you mean by ‘coercionist’?
The can-do attitude versus the can’t-do attitude
Fallibilism as a way of being and acting
A commitment to
figuring it out
, by Ivan Illich: a book review
The relationship-building power of explanations
Don’t tell me I can’t: An ambitious homeschooler’s journey
, by Cole Summers: a book review
What do you mean by non-coercive? What is the difference between coercion and non-coercion?
How is she sleeping?
Surely it is cruel to force people to live with the consequences of the ideas and preferences they had when they were children?
Surely studies show that parents have little impact on how people turn out?
Why no ‘common preferences’?
Surely kids need to be forced to learn maths?
Unless we get children try different things, how will they ever learn which things are fun and which are not fun?
Isn’t taking children seriously a risky experiment with children? Is there any evidence that it works? Has it been studied?
What is the psychological impact of not taking children seriously?
How do you handle the issue of other people coercing your child?
When a solution is not found, is it always the parents who must bear the brunt of the sacrifice?
Are you advocating that the children should rule the parents?!
What about instilling values like freedom, fallibilism and the idea of taking children seriously?
The rationalist mistake
How can I drop the anti-rational part of my mind that interferes with me taking my children seriously?
How can I become more aware of anti-rational parts in my mind?
How can I overcome the antirational memes disabling my creativity, with my disabled creativity?!
If anti-rational memes are compelling me to coerce my children, what hope is there?!
Why did my mother’s coercive words fly out of my mouth?!
Why do parents coerce their children despite having been through it themselves?
If a parent has an aversion to something a child enjoys doing, how do you solve that problem?
If coercion has impaired my ability to correct errors, is taking children seriously even possible?
Why does it sometimes hurt to think about Taking Children Seriously?
Surely we should communicate our disapproval to our children?
If we should take babies seriously, should we not take pigs seriously too?
Does taking children seriously mean not influencing them?
In what ways is Taking Children Seriously different from simply taking everybody seriously?
What kind of children is Taking Children Seriously not a good idea for?￼
What ages is Taking Children Seriously most powerful for, or how does its value change with age? When is it almost too late?￼
What do you do about vaccinating your children?
Equal relationships with our children?! How are parents and children are equals?!
What is wrong with loving limits for children?
If you are not coercing your child, what do you do instead of coercion?
Do children taken seriously ever ask permission?
What is the relationship between Karl Popper’s epistemology, the ideas of David Deutsch and Taking Children Seriously?
How did Taking Children Seriously start?
How do you teach table manners?
How do you determine what food to give your children?
How can we express approval when our children do something good without manipulating them by implying that we would disapprove if they had made a different choice?
What if my child both hates school and likes being in school with all his friends?
Surely the lack of that extra money is a comparative disadvantage?
Is Taking Children Seriously only for the rich?
Our 15-year-old wants to hitchhike to Outer Mongolia by herself. We think she is not yet “street-wise” enough. What should we do?
Surely it is not coercive to have a rule that whenever our child goes out, he must first tell us where he is going and for how long? What about being a responsible parent?!
If my five-year-old were allowed to open the garden gate, she would be off wandering all over the neighbourhood and might be run over or kidnapped or murdered etc.
At what age should children first leave the house on their own, visit their friend next door on their own, go to the cinema on their own, hitchhike from coast to coast on their own, etc.?
Surely suffering and frustration make us stronger?
Why not say that the policy is non-coercion except on important issues?
If we are fallible and not omniscient, surely it is exaggerating to say it is always possible to solve problems without coercion?
What to do when your child says “Go away” or “I don’t want to talk about it”
What if… ?
“What if…?” questions revisited
Is hiding medicine in your child’s food wrong?
Surely it is necessary to coerce children to avoid them doing unsafe or unethical things?
How can we communicate urgent information to our pre-verbal toddlers?
How do you take babies seriously?
Surely children need discipline to teach them self-discipline?
Surely children need to learn to deal with restrictions to prepare them for life in society?
What do you mean by ‘creativity’?
What do you mean by ‘knowledge’?
Why not argue for Taking Children Seriously in terms of rights?
Who am I to criticise someone else?
If criticism is valuable why not be more critical?
Surely criticism is always good?
What if your child wants to drive?
What if my child wants me to help her murder someone?
I’m a vegetarian. What if my child wants to eat meat?
How do you intervene non-coercively when one child is attacking another?
Is coercion always wrong?
What if my child wants to buy every toy in the shop, and does not consult me?
What do you have against gentle coercion?
Do children not taught that they can’t always get their own way become entitled and inconsiderate?
Is the purpose of taking children seriously to avoid the harm coercion would do?
Is it necessary to reject authority?
How is a compromise not a real solution?
How can I tell if a proposed solution is a real solution?
How do you solve problems where there is a conflict of interest?
If I am not allowed to coerce my child, surely I am being coerced myself?
Surely coercion is ok when the parent is right and the child is wrong?
What do you have against coercion?
Surely children are not born knowing right and wrong?
Does Taking Children Seriously mean children always getting their own way?
Surely it is natural for parents to control their children?
If children are people just like adults, why should we treat our children any differently from how we treat adults?
How is the word ‘parenting’ not taking children seriously?
Which parenting style is Taking Children Seriously? Authoritarian, authoritative, permissive, or uninvolved?
What do you mean by ‘paternalism’?
Children fending for themselves like adults?!
What is Taking Children Seriously?
Why does parenting feel so hard?
How to read this site
Taking Children Seriously: a new view of children
The Taking Children Seriously survey
The bed-making story
Does educational freedom lead to big gaps in knowledge?
Home education in Britain
Do not wait until you are perfect
Smash the TV and burn all the books
Sooooo bored in school
Taking Children Seriously: it is rocket science!
Why stuff-management matters
Forget about it!
Imposing rules so children feel secure?
Practical Taking Children Seriously
When toddlers get upset
Curious young children taking things apart
Bedtimes and ill effects of lack of sleep
Enacting a theory
Vegetarian parents, meat-eating child
Coercively protecting children
A chat about Taking Children Seriously
Against ego-centric epistemology
The right to refuse medical treatment
The paradigm shift
What Taking Children Seriously is, and what it is not
Question or command?
Great change of mind without self-sacrifice
Help! Child hates eyepatch!
Why is a three-year-old child hitting and what to do
Do the kids rule?
Children do not need bedtime routines
Carseat in a medical emergency?
Watch out! There’s a toddler about!
Engaging sexually with children is NOT taking them seriously
Joke test of taking children seriously
How to get enough sleep with a toddler who does not sleep
Ideas for parent whose toddler does not want to go to sleep
Is your child worried about death?
Children do not need what conventional wisdom says they need
Reacting to an angry child
Protect the victim
Respecting other people’s wishes
No way out – and loving it
(NOT) listening to children
Choosing to go to school or Iraq
Moving, improving: punishment will not help
But if we don’t make her do maths…
Can an emotion be wrong?
In praise of ignorance
Taking toys seriously (yes, really)
The Keeping-One’s-Options-Open mentality
Lying about lying
There but for an internet post go I…
Does your child love visiting the dentist?
My heavenly-horrific vision of Taking Children Seriously
Parenting by the book
Are time outs time off or serving time?
Housework help for a harried mother
Questioning natural consequences
Natural consequences and “enabling”
The dark side of John Holt
Swearing is not a four letter word
Parental rules mess up children’s thinking
Is Taking Children Seriously revolutionary?
Are schools inherently coercive?
Breaking the spiral of coercion
On Politically Incorrect…
Where is the choice for the child?
Waste not, want not
Never make a child feel bad
Taking sick children seriously
Beware the homeschooling mentality
Taking Children Seriously and fallibilism
Requiring children to do chores
Objectifying education sabotages learning
(Not) doling out looks and latitude
The importance of video games
We lost our internet account
Children who prefer to go to school
Unhappy with natural consequences
Supporting a child’s choice to go to school
Treat information about local education authorities with caution
A discussion about whether problems are solvable
Taking the free world and children seriously: an anecdote
How do you get children excited about maths?
Punished by rewards
Creativity and untidiness
Doing nothing academically?
Both coercion and “doing nothing” are mistakes
Coercion — the meaning of the word
Answering questions about Karl Popper’s epistemology
Karl Popper on the growth of knowledge
Coercion of adults vs. coercion of children
Is creativity a boon to the affected individual?
Is creativity even desirable?
How about explaining to your children?
Getting kids to ‘agree’ to TV limits
Educational theory: science or philosophy?
The language of parental power plays
Genuinely protecting children versus coercing them
Expressing approval vs expressing appreciation
It is impossible to control for all the variables in any experiment involving human psychology
Why giving children rules and boundaries is a mistake
It’s your house, your income, your everything; and if the kids don’t like it…
Are your children free to follow their own interests?
How would you like it?
Relax about babies watching TV
How to transmit inexplicit knowledge without using real life examples
Unschooling and Karl Popper
Herbert Spencer on children’s rights
Different labels for adults and children
Trying to turn philosophy into science is a mistake
Philosophical theories are refuted by argument, not empirical tests
Coerced to change their values
Bathtime and hairwashing
Time out is not taking time out
“What if…?” questions
Blind obedience, thoughtful obedience, ‘cooperation’
Playing with guns, real coercion
Mistakes and what to do about them
In defence of television soap operas
The final prejudice
The Simpsons – the best teacher in the world
Coercion as a ‘solution’ to behavioural problems
The mistaken belief that we have to doooo something
Learners’ rights vs. alleged ‘responsibilities’
Why discussions take a philosophical turn
We should not be coercing our partners either
Unschooling and schooling as a continuum
Ivan Illich denounces the internet
Children’s welfare secondary to a dogmatic ideology?
Common misapprehensions about Taking Children Seriously￼
Coercion prevents problems being solved
Solving problems takes creativity
A lack of forcefulness is good not bad
Consensual family dynamics get easier
The heavy societal pressure to coerce children
Branded lazy parents for not coercing
School children have less freedom and choice than prison inmates
“You gotta be kidding. That would never work with my kid.”
The joy of consensual parenting
Avoid coercing other rational beings
There is no safety in ignorance
What if your child wants a dangerous substance?
All choices restrict future choices
‘Tantrums’ are a response to coercion
Ideas colour experience
Differences in knowledge not reason
Don’t children prefer strict rules so they know where they stand?
Criticism of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child
Common emotional blackmail
Hand wringing instead of intervening?
Popper’s epistemology and the everyday lives of children
That something is legal does not make it right or best
Why allow minors to disregard the guidance of their elders?
What to do if you get a visit from a social worker or CPS
No dogmatism here
Coercion, manipulation, reason, persuasion
‘Influence’ versus ‘coercion’
Young children, reason and creativity
Violating parents’ rights of conscience
Fallibilism is not self-contradictory
Young children, non-coercion and the interplay of reason
How to talk so your kids will be manipulated
Coercion punishes children for reasoning
Unschooling and academic education 3
Covert educational coercion
Unschooling and academic education 2
Instruction does not address the immediate moment-by-moment concerns and questions of the learner
Parents accept costs and inconvenience for their children
Unschooling and academic education 1
The education game
Parents know that punishment is damaging
The primary function of teachers is to coerce children
be ‘school phobic’?
Coercion needed to prevent cavities?
Children’s rights and the law
Television vs. workbooks
“What do you think?”
Never stop reading to your children
What does the UK do about homeschoolers not educating their kids?
Clarification of what I mean by ‘coercion’
Coercing children to play an instrument
Unschooling is not the same as non-coercive education
The education of Karl Popper
Video games: a unique educational environment
The social, educational, economic and political oppression of children
Autonomous learning, autonomous life