It’s pretty safe to say that there isn’t one way to raise a child. There are 42,000 different religions in the world, and each has guidelines and commandments that differ from one another, although many seem to teach similar themes. In religions across the board, it’s generally looked down upon to steal, kill, destroy, murder, rape, etc…that kind of thing.
Obviously there are members of the community that don’t abide by any of these rules. These people clearly make society less enjoyable and far more dangerous for the rest of us. With this being said, maybe there’s a reason that religions of the world operate by these basic principles. When people steer away from the golden rule, “Do unto others as they would do unto you”, selfless love and care for other people tends to go away and a survival instinct kicks in.
There is much evil in the world. It’s understandable that parents want to shelter their children from this evil as much as possible. But to what end? It’s understandable to keep your children away from drugs, alcohol, sexually explicit content, and things of the like, but is it more effective to shelter a child from temptations of the world that could lead to sadness and emptiness, or is it better to educate a child and let them make their own choices based off of the consequences they see following those actions?
Too Much Information
The question of education v.s. sheltering can’t be answered with a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’. It is a complex philosophy that takes on different forms according to the environment in which a person is raised.
In the case of sheltering, it’s clear that it’s impossible to shelter our children from everything, but there are certain measures that can be taken to shelter a child from a particular reality until they are of an appropriate age to understand it.
The argument for sheltering is that the world is full of too much information. Loading a child up with too much information at a young age can be detrimental to development. The article written by Peter Tait entitled “Too Much Information Destroys Childhood Innocence” does a great job explaining this viewpoint in further detail.
Learn From the World Around
Education has unparalleled value. Many say that all the world’s problems would disappear if people were educated about the world around them, and about people who are not like them. This is probably a pretty true statement, but some choose to be ignorant even in the face of education.
In any case, education has many benefits, and will tell our children about the consequences of carrying out a certain action. Does this mean they’ll take it for what it’s worth? People are educated from a young age that cigarettes are extremely unhealthy for you, but many don’t seem to care.
In conclusion, it seems that neither education, nor sheltering by themselves are an absolute choice. A symbiotic operation of the two might prove to be more fruitful in a life. Raise your children as you will, shelter them while their young, educate them when the need arises, and let them make their own, informed decisions.