Friday, June 18, 2010

Spare the rod, spoil the child?

Indirectly, I stumbled across a piece in my RSS feeds this morning by David D. Friedman (son of Nobel Laureate economist Milton Friedman) on children and make believe. In it, Friedman one of the leading figures of anarcho-capitalism (no, I'd never heard of it before either) makes the case for bursting the bubbles of four year old children.

To paraphrase, he believes that you should play to win with you children otherwise they will never learn to deal with life, which to be fair is a view that dates back to the ancient Spartans at least.

But I think it misses the point on one of the most important lessons of life. It is not the competition which is important. Any idiot can learn to be competitive. The thing that we need to help our children learn is how to deal with defeat.

Too many people have unpleasant learning experiences early in life which put them off learning for good.

Whilst I entirely concur that it is pointless to wrap children in cotton wool, if you set out to scarify them, all you will create is insensitive scar tissue.

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