Should children be free?
Some people say that younger children should follow their instincts and be allowed to behave as freely as they want, while others disagree. Discuss both views and give your opinion.
How people treat children varies from society to society and from family to family. Some children seem to be almost wild, while others are expected to follow strict rules, almost like miniature adults. In this essay I will say why I think children benefit from freedom but need some guidelines.
We often think of childhood as a time of freedom. This is very strange, since, as children, we have no choice over who we live with, what we eat and or generally what we do. However, in the care of a good family, children are free to play, learn, run, fall, talk, shout, cry or be happy. They know that they are loved and that whatever they do they have someone to turn to.
However, very few parents, whether in traditional or modern societies, allow their children to follow their instincts completely. They are trying to get their children to succeed into society, and as a result, try to make their children learn acceptable social behavior. People are often quick to criticize the way other people raise their children, and there is a lot of pressure on parents to produce perfect children.
Parents of course have to set some limits. Sometimes the limits are for the children’s safety: they are not allowed to play here, go there, or sit in the front of the car. There can be limits on the kind of food or the time for bed. There can also be social limits: children have to act a certain way with parents or older family members or with people outside and they have to learn to share, to play with other children, to go to school. There is a constant negotiation of these limits, but it’s often said that children are happier knowing that there are limits.
It’s impossible to set a rule that will work for all children, all families, or all societies. However, childhood should be a time of learning and exploring, and that means pushing boundaries and finding how far you can go. If children don’t have some limits, they will not have a structure in their life and a framework for the future.