Wednesday, February 9, 2011

In Defense of Being a Kid

from the Wall Street Journal . . .
Amy Chua, the “tiger mother,” is clearly hitting a nerve—especially among the anxious class (it used to be called the upper class), which understands how much skill and discipline are necessary for success in the new economy.

What Ms. Chua and her critics agree on is that childhood is all about preparation for adulthood. Ms. Chua claims that her parenting methods will produce ambitious, successful and happy adults—while her critics argue that her methods will produce neurotic, self- absorbed and unhappy ones.
It took economist Larry Summers, in a debate with Ms. Chua at the World Economic Forum in Davos, to point out that part of the point of childhood is childhood itself. Childhood takes up a quarter of one’s life, Mr. Summers observed, and it would be nice if children enjoyed it.
Bravo, Larry.
Children are not merely adults in training. They are also people with distinctive powers and joys. A happy childhood is measured not only by the standards of adult success, but also by the enjoyment of the gifts given to children alone.
What are the unique blessings of childhood?
Read the rest here.


H West said...

You can pick your nose and nobody cares. You can pretend you're a purple hippo riding on a prairie through a forest and then jump on your pirate ship and sail the seven seas. You can skip through a parking lot holding onto your mom's hand while singing the theme song to 'the Wonder Pets' at the top of your lungs and people just smile as you walk by. You can make up a totally ridiculous song with words that make absolutetly no sense at all, sing it all day long, and your mom thinks you hung the moon.

Matt said...

A quarter of one's life? Maybe if one dies at 60. At 15 I think it is not unreasonable to expect people to act like adults.