Let the Children Play
Parents seem to believe that a child's life needs to be completely organized and supervised by people who are supposed to be “experts in child development.” We do not believe that at all. In fact, we can make a strong case for the exact opposite: Leave children alone to decide what they'll do, with whom, when, and how; don't supervise or interfere unless they ask for it, and then only minimally.
What I'm suggesting is to let children PLAY. As our society becomes more psychotic, stressed, pressured, and fearful, what's missing is free-form living -- spontaneous, unplanned activities such as we did when we were young and simply left alone with a friend or two or more. I believe that many of us are unable to cope with today's demands because we did not get enough independent play while we grew up. Too much organization has made us conformist and anxious instead of creative and self-assured.
One of today's great tragedies is that most public schools have eliminated recess (my favorite class in school) for children above the fourth grade. That means children are even more limited in their opportunities to interact freely with each other. They are stuck indoors all day with those of the same age, the same abilities and a similar background. This process is artificial, coercive and unnatural.
I believe that the entire time spent on schooling is a total waste - compared to the value of allowing children to make their own decisions, learn to live with the consequences of their decisions, and enjoy the autonomy this process offers. Need proof? Watch all animals as they grow up -- playing (and being left alone) is essential and imperative training for successful life. Nothing can take its place.