Skip to content
by Sarah Fitz-Claridge
How will credential-less children survive?
What do you mean by ‘fallible’?
What if your baby keeps grabbing your nose ring and cannot be reasoned with?
How do you raise a child to believe in freedom?
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 is not taking children seriously
What if your child runs into traffic?￼
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
What do you mean by non-coercive? What is the difference between coercion and non-coercion?
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?
Unnatural consequences revisited
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
Home education in Britain
Do not wait until you are perfect
Curious young children taking things apart
A chat about Taking Children Seriously
What Taking Children Seriously is, and what it is not
Question or command?
Help! Child hates eyepatch!
Watch out! There’s a toddler about!
Engaging sexually with children is NOT taking them seriously
Is your child worried about death?
Reacting to an angry child
Protect the victim
Respecting other people’s wishes
No way out – and loving it
(NOT) listening to children
Moving, improving: punishment will not help
Can an emotion be wrong?
The Keeping-One’s-Options-Open mentality
Lying about lying
Does your child love visiting the dentist?
Are time outs time off or serving time?
The dark side of John Holt
Swearing is not a four letter word
Breaking the spiral of coercion
Never make a child feel bad
Beware the homeschooling mentality
Objectifying education sabotages learning
The importance of video games
Treat information about local education authorities with caution
A discussion about whether problems are solvable
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
Karl Popper on the growth of knowledge
Is creativity a boon to the affected individual?
Is creativity even desirable?
Educational theory: science or philosophy?
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…
How to transmit inexplicit knowledge without using real life examples
Unschooling and Karl Popper
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 Simpsons – the best teacher in the world
Coercion as a ‘solution’ to behavioural problems
Unschooling and schooling as a continuum
Children’s welfare secondary to a dogmatic ideology?
Common misapprehensions about Taking Children Seriously￼
Coercion prevents problems being solved
Solving problems takes creativity
What if your child wants a dangerous substance?
All choices restrict future choices
Ideas colour experience
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?
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
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
Unschooling and academic education 1
The education game
be ‘school phobic’?
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