On Mature Children

I've been slowly reading Hold On to Your Kids, by Drs. Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Mate (PhD and MD, respectively). Basically, the premise is that peer attachment has largely replaced parental attachment in our culture, and this is bad (go figure). The authors are making a case for encouraging the natural attachment young children have to their parents, so that it continues into adolescence and results in teenagers who are secure and desirous of doing what is right for the sake of pleasing those most important to them (ie, their parents--not their peers). It's an interesting read and has numerous points of intersection with good Christian parenting, though the authors arguments are purely secular.

It is not a book urging homeschooling, but I thought the following quote applied in that arena:
Immature people tend to trample on any individuality that dares show itself. In a child's world it is not immaturity but rather the maturing processes that are suspect and a source of shame. The emergent child--the child who is self-motivated and not driven by needs for peer contact--seems like an anomaly, irregular, a little off the beaten track. The words that peer-oriented kids use for such a child are highly critical, words like weird, stupid, retarded, freak, and geek. Immature children do not understand why these emergent, maturing others are trying so hard to get along, why they seek solitude sometimes instead of company, why they can be curious and interested about things that don't involve others, why they ask questions in class. There must be something wrong with these kids and for that they deserve to be shamed. The stronger a child's peer orientation, the more intensely she well resent and assault another kid's individuality.

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