protective restrictions for children

Moderator: melsbells

User avatar
Posts: 794
Joined: Wed Jul 30, 6:45 2014
Location: Finland

protective restrictions for children

Post by melsbells » Tue Dec 6, 16:08 2016

The Wolfpack, a documentary about
six bright teenage brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in a manhattan housing project. all they know of the outside is gleaned from the movies they watch obsessively (and recreate meticulously). yet as adolescence looms, they dream of escape, ever more urgently, into the beckoning world.
The film is coming from the bias that the parents have wronged their children. We're told that in the past they have left the apartment, only as a group, and up to eight times a year. One year they didn't get out at all. It's unclear what the objective of these outings were. The film leaves a lot unanswered. We know they are homeschooled by their mother, who's a certified teacher, but what the homeschooling looked like is never examined. I can't help but think that these kids all around really healthy, charming, affectionate, considerate, welcoming, really only positive adjectives come to mind.

I'm also reminded of Émile by Rousseau. It's been quite a while since I read Émile, and although some ideas have stuck with me, I wasn't particularly engrossed with the book at the time. Rousseau describes how best to raise a child to function as a superb man and citizen. His program is primarily restrictive. The child is not at first allowed outside influences. When they are introduced, they are closely monitored.

The parents in The Wolfpack and Rousseau in Émile both believe that the outside world is corruptive and that it is our responsibility as caretakers to restrict and filter access to the world.

I don't think we should be locking kids in an apartment for the first 15 years of their lives, but I do think there's something to be said for restrictive parenting, or at least filtered parenting.

Does anyone know about any studies on the outcomes of restrictions? I know I've heard the anecdote that kids with hard rules growing up rebel further.

What kind of restrictions and filters do you provide for your kids? Why do you or don't you restrict or filter access? How?

I expect that restrictions will change as our kid gets older, obvious things like access to potentially harmful chemicals, use of the range/oven. A lot of the restrictions are simply practical, such as we're vegan (mostly) and therefore our kid is. We almost never watch television, therefore our kid doesn't. Other's are a bit more planned, such as not sending our kid to daycare, at least not yet.