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Please, stop thinking you have children’s best interests in mind if you don’t care about them having a mind of their own.

The focus in parenting and schooling is too often (usually) to shape and manipulate children so that they turn out to be somebody (the adult wants): a Harvard or Stanford admit, a successful professional, the owner of a large home in the right neighborhood, a wealthy entrepreneur, a parent who will in turn make sure their kids also turn out to be somebodies, too. In the pursuit of trying to turn kids into somebodies, they demand control over their minds and bodies, dictating to them what should be important, and bribing, shaming, or punishing them into behaviors that are meant to put adults at ease as much as it is to make sure the kids are headed for so-called success. They focus on academic priorities and add-on activities that they believe will help the children navigate academic, professional, and social hierarchies. They steal time from children, preventing children from being able to seriously consider what they want out of life, and they (intentionally or not) prioritize performance over all else, inhibiting the ethical and moral development that can equip the child to become an adult who improves the human condition.