Archive for adults

Beyond Attachment to Parents: Children Need Community

In hunter-gatherer cultures, such as that of the Efe, infants and children develop close relationships with, and are cared for by, the entire band, not just parents. Today, too, both children and parents need the support of a caring community. The nuclear family is not enough.

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The Human Nature of Teaching II: What Can We Learn from Hunter-Gatherers?

Hunter-gatherers did not teach by coercion and generally did not attempt to direct their children's learning. Yet they did teach, in ways that preserved children's feelings of security, trust, trustworthiness, and personal autonomy. Here is how they did it.

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How to Advise and Help Your Kids Without Driving Them (or Yourself) Crazy

We love our kids. We want the best for them. And so, we offer them advice and help that they didn't ask for and don't want, and they reject it or ignore it. In some instances our impulse to help leads us to become downright pests to our children. ... Here are seven suggestions for really helping kids, in ways that respect their individuality and need for autonomy.

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I Want Your Stories of Self-Directed Learning

As you know if you have been following it for awhile, this blog is primarily about self-education, especially in children but also in adults. It's about learning that occurs through play, self-directed exploration, and self-initiated focused effort. The comments and emails I have received over the past few months suggest that many of you have stories to tell that are quite relevant to these themes. I would love to hear and perhaps share your stories, which can be about your children, others you know, or you. Your stories may be a great source of inspiration for other readers.

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Trustful Parenting May Require an Alternative to Conventional Schooling

As I write this essay, children and adolescents all over America are frantically completing their assigned summer reading, so they can turn in their book reports, due on the first day of class. Or, they are blowing off the assignments while their parents are frantically trying to get them to do them. If your child fails to turn in those reports, you may be as much to "blame" as your child. The school system expects you to monitor, nudge, maybe even bribe or threaten your child--do whatever you must to get that slacker to do the assignment. .... To be a trustful parent these days, you may need to find some alternative to conventional schooling for your child. Here are two suggestions.

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