Escape from Childhood
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The case for treating children like real people, not pets and slaves, and for making available to them all the adult rights and responsibilities as outlined in the US Bill of Rights. This book will challenge not only your ideas about what constitutes "childhood" in today's society, but your ideas about society as a whole.
young people, above all many unhappy ones, want and need a chance to help, to feel, in Peter Mann’s words, “alive, useful and needed”. Lynn Converse, who with Peggy Hughes helped to start an adventure-junk-construction playground in Charlestown (part of Boston), told me about some of the children with whom she has been working after school hours in an empty apartment in a housing project. Her group of children has its bullies and troublemakers. But she said that the worst of these, two strong,
talk about gardens and growing things I have touched on a more general purpose of adults’ work, which children do not and cannot share with us. The child accepts the world as it is. He has more than enough work to do to explore it, find out about it, learn how to live in it. He is always pleased when he can change it, make some visible mark on it, and if he has no other way to do this he will write (often interesting) graffiti on walls or tear apart concrete and steel playgrounds. But there is no
Marianna is one of the towns in which, according to Mr James, the citizens demanded the reinstatement of flogging. Sometimes it almost seems as if many Americans whose appetite for punishment and cruelty is not satisfied by the sadism of professional’ sport’ or of so many current films, books and magazines, need to feel that people are being made to suffer in prison and get positive satisfaction rather than revulsion from hearing of these beatings and floggings. Are we using children not just as
I’m doing most the time, but I do know what I’m doing when I’m being a father or a mother.” Elsewhere she points out that it is precisely those women who feel least in control of their own lives who have most need to control the lives of their children. But it is because society has become so complicated, because adults act in such a variety of ways, because people seem to be playing so many different roles, because there are so many different ways of living and working that young people need to
something prevents you, try to find a way to deal with that. We can begin to treat children, even the youngest and smallest, wherever we may find them, as we would want everyone to treat them in the society we are trying to make. We can begin by trying to be courteous to them. This will be very difficult for those who have been taught by experience only to be servile to the strong and rude and bossy towards the weak or those who have learned to think of children as love objects and to treat them