They’ll be *fine*

I’ve been reading the opinions of militant homeschoolers (including the ones who are militantly anti-unschooling), militant public-schoolers, and militant unschoolers. In this case I define “militant” as meaning “asserting that their own way is the way all children should be raised”.

Now, personally I think that children should have the freedom to make their own decisions. But here’s the best kept secret of child-rearing: children are flexible and resilient. Chances are if you love them and respect them, they’ll be *fine*. They might regret some things about their upbringing. But they won’t be ruined for life.

If you think you know how every child should be raised, you’re wrong. And you probably need to chill out, because all that worrying about other people’s kids is going to give you an ulcer. I had someone tell me today that in education, something far greater than money is at stake. He’s right that a child’s experience is unquantifiable in monetary terms, but he’s wrong about it being “at stake”. People have taken on this crazy notion of late that if they don’t do things JUST right, their kids will be screwed up for life. And, of course, there are a million different voices arguing about what’s “right”.

Once again: they’ll be *fine*. Don’t stop educating yourself about childrearing choices, but stop stressing out about it.

And stop trying to tell me how to raise my kids. You don’t know shit about about it. No one does. Not even people with degrees on the topic – they are just more likely to be rigidly wrong instead of flexibly wrong. No one knows how to get it right, and that’s OK.

View All


  1. This was a good post!

    1. I’m a militant child-centered schooler.

      Everything else is negotiable. Education should be catered to the child’s needs, talents, developmental level(NOT age), and learning style. I hear that some kids really do very well in structured learning environments. *shrug* Sounds like crazy talk to me, but if it works then that’s great.

      I do not think education should be centered around:

      A) The convenience of adults.

      B) Chronological age.

      C) Cultural academics. (As opposed to practical skills they actually need in life.) I’m cool with kids choosing to pursue cultural academics as a hobby, elective, or in college. Just not being forced to read Chaucer when they could be learning how to manage their credit card bill.

      D) Any kind of situation where children are captive, passive, learners.

      E) Arbitrary reward systems (ie. grades).

      I’m pretty militant about those points. Education needs to me child-centered, child-led, developmentally appropriate, voluntary, participatory, and naturally self-rewarding.

      There are lots of different ways to do that. Any of those ways are cool.

      Children taught to be ruled by others will not be fine.

    1. Re: Amen.

      Yeah, I’m mellowing out in my old age…

  2. I am doing research for my university thesis, thanks for your great points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

Comments are closed.