Surely coercion is ok when the parent is right and the child is wrong?

“I agree that coercion should be minimised but you are surely not suggesting that gentle coercion would be a problem in cases where the parent is right and the child in the wrong?”

That’s like saying: “I agree that coercion should be minimised but you are surely not suggesting that gentle coercion would be a problem in cases where the husband is right and the wife is in the wrong?”

If that does not look like a perfectly reasonable thing to say about an adult, why is it reasonable about a child?

How do we know for sure when we are right and our child is mistaken? Are we not fallible human beings? Being fallible implies that we can be mistaken including when we feel certain that we are right. And because we are fallible, there is no reliable way to know who is right and who is wrong.

Disagreements can either be resolved through reason, or they can be dealt with coercively.

See also:

Sarah Fitz-Claridge, Taking Children Seriously FAQ: ‘Surely coercion is ok when the parent is right and the child is wrong?’, https://www.takingchildrenseriously.com/surely-coercion-is-ok-when-the-parent-is-right-and-the-child-is-wrong/

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