In a world of limitless art supplies and boundless time and two year olds, I agree that there is no right and wrong. I believe in open-ended art and play. I encourage pretending and tinkering and open-ended conversation.
I do everything in my capacity to build my girls up. Not tear you down. Especially not with mockery and berating, but, I must admit, sometimes a finger shake. Right, Danjo, Miss Finger Shaker?
I've written before about grey areas and my desire to avoid making my children feel wrong, making you feel like there is only one right answer.
When we manage to teach children that there is a right way and a wrong way, they are learning something about black and white. They are learning something about their own judgement. They are learning something about rote and obedience. And I think none of it good, at least if the idea is to have them ultimately emerge from school as people who form their own ideas and have the courage to express them.
Certainly. I want you, my daughters, to be true to yourselves and to be courageous in your convictions and actions.
But, there's something about this approach to child-rearing that is too "perfect world" for me. Never offering guidance about "right" and "wrong" or communicating expectations of excellence.
Yes, in a perfect world, those are the children I would raise. Children who are self-motivated to learn and make good choices. Who don't hit each other because they understand that it hurts, who want to learn math because they understand its fascinating application to natural phenomenon. (Click on Teacher Tom's link about "obedience" above, for more on that. A whole 'nother post. Don't have time to go there now.)
But, in reality?