On Children and Play

When your puppy begins chewing on anything and everything, should you begin punishing her and prohibiting her from chewing on things? Dogs clearly have a natural inclination to chew on things. They need to chew. To punish them or prohibit them from doing so is to keep them from fulfilling an evolutionary need. Instead, you should provide them something to chew on; a chew toy or a bone, for example. That would be meeting their need to chew. Likewise with children and play. I don’t think children should be punished for or prohibited from playing. As a proven evolutionary need, children should be provided an abundance of outlets to engage in play. But more, parents should also try to refrain from bringing kids to places where they will be prohibited from meeting their constant need of play. And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.