On What We Tell Children

I’ve met some gullible people, but on the whole, children are much more gullible than adults. This is obviously true because children are still somewhere in the process of developing their rational faculties. So, if we have something to tell a child, what if we thought about how it would be received by a less gullible adult? For example, pretend you want to tell a child that teletubbies are real creatures. But first, imagine yourself telling that to an adult. What would be the reaction? He’d ask you more about them – he’s rationally skeptical – and at some point want to know where he can go to find one or if reputable others would agree with you. It would be much harder to fool an adult into believing that teletubbies are real, than it would be a child, which seems a very good reason to be extra careful with what we tell our children. 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.