with a grain of rye
The Free Child
In a modern society structured with rules and regulations, a parent can easily feel obligated to conform to the standards of child rearing activities from their own personal childhood, and/or from those parents in close proximity to them (ei: neighbors, family, and friends). The true experience of childhood relies heavily on the parents and the type of parental influence they invoke upon their child; therefore, the ideal childhood would be centered on the ideal parenting style and influence the child should receive.
Throughout history, as clearly defined through the literary text examined, the ideal childhood can take many forms depending on society’s view on children, the time period for which the child has been born, and the racial and social class the child has been born into. Contrary to the childhoods represented in the literary text, there is a new childhood arising in the modern century that has not been explored, of which I feel the ideal childhood would stem from: the Free Child. Children are constantly being pressured and forced to abide by nonessential rules that would not benefit their true character or personality. For example, many children, especially young boys, are restless during their primitive learning years at primary learning institutions; however, instead of allowing these children to express their built up energy or boredom, many teachers suggest the children receive a type of ADD or ADHD medication when not necessarily needed. Some children do need this medication; however, in recent years, there have been many cases reported of students who did not need such medication (D’Agostino). To counteract the typical school system, monastery schools were developed to allow children for more flexibility to the their learning. I feel the ideal childhood would be learning in such a flexible environment allowing for the child imagination to be unleashed from the confinements of authority and able to be explored freely during a school day. The reason for this freedom for the child is that many children are discouraged from a young age in schools from various subjects, and potentially school all together. As parents play an enormous role in the childhood of their children, teachers play an enormous role in the continuing education of their students, and perhaps a larger role than parents depending on each child’s home life; however, in this ideal childhood centered on the child being a free individual, the child could do whatever the parent allows. The child would be “free,” yet still confined to the rules implemented by the parents; therefore, I feel the question is not what children are allowed to do or not to do, but more so what are the parents allowing their children to do and not do and what are their parenting styles. The ideal parenting style for the free child would be centered on love, acceptance, and emotional ties resulting in the best parent-child relationships. The parent would be less concerned with structure, and more focused on the experiences their child will have. Today, many children travel and are exposed to new cultures, food, and diversity than decades past; which I feel has played a role leading to more equality. It would be logical to assume that children exposed to more of the world are more open to ideas and compromises, resulting in bettering political and economic conflicts in the future, as children become the world’s leaders.
To compare the free child to any of type of child within the text, it appears that the types of children in the text were simply being children, yet the view of society shifted because of the parents and authoritative figures that were raising such children. The idea of the free child has become a possibility in the modern century because there are new additions within society that help raise a child such as daycares, schools, and easy access to materials from shopping centers. The view society has on children has been changed from years past, and in the ideal childhood of a free child, he or she would not be belittled, and instead would be given the freedom to actually be a child.
I am Gabe Rye, from Memphis, TN. I started writing journal entries because I was inspired at a young age to pursue writing to share my thoughts and feelings on the changing world around us. Attitude is everything, and changing your attitude and mentality is a journey I have been taking since the start of my writing. I desire to become a better contributing member of society, as to also better my faith journey through this social platform.