I can remember being very young, about 4 or 5 I imagine, and taking a shower in my mother's house. I was showering alone at the time and I remember realizing I had to defecate. Instantly I thought through it with as much of my young logic as I could muster up.

"Where am I supposed to poop?"

"The bathroom!"

"Are we in the bathroom?"


A few minutes later my mother came in and, judging from her facial expression, (which is still stuck firmly in my mind), she couldn't understand why I was so proud to have worked through one of my first logic problems.

This story is NOT an example socialization destroying the beauty of a child. This story is of a silly thing a child did and a mother's understanding reaction to it. There are a few fairly logical reasons not to shit in your bathtub, especially when there is a toilet far better equipped for such things only a meter away.

There are some things that socialization is good for. Teaching children the difference between a toilet and a bathtub qualifies as pretty harmless for me. Language (barring some strong, often offensive language) is pretty harmless. My parents spoke a language, they taught it to me and now I can communicate. Works for me.

These examples are in the minority by far, though.

My parents also designed my diet for me. Though they didn't necesarily feed me on a steady diet of McDonald's horrors, they did introduce meat to me as a child. I am a vegetarian now. Everyone probably has a handfull of issues that they wish they could bring back to their parents in a time machine. Just zap yourself back in time and leave a little essay on your kitchen fridge; 'Perhaps meat isn't right for your child', would have been the title of mine. Other people might have essay titles like "Your son will never like football, deal with it", "If you keep saying nigger, your kid is going to grow up saying it too", and maybe "please stop smoking around your infant". Mine would have been about the meat though.

Generations go by without people thinking about why they do the things they do. Children keep getting born into this system and are given low-context answers to all of their important questions. A child keeps asking why and eventually gets told to shut up. Not "I don't know son, let's find out why the sky is blue", but "shut up kid, it's not important". Every day the beautiful curiousity of a child gets crushed by a parent who just doesn't have the answers and doesn't have that same curiosity in them to search for the answers.

What's the solution to this problem? Learn from your children. Don't try to teach them everything, but observe their curiosity, their uncorrupted search for new things, their hateless, greedless, fearless perspective on everything. I don't have to tell any mothers out there though, it's important to monitor the fearlessness. That can cause serious problems that I sometimes don't want to think about at the same time that I think about a child's beauty.

Learn from your children. They are pure and uncorrupted by the world, right up until the point that you corrupt them or let some outside force get at them. Television comes to mind there.....

You are socialized, they are not. It's important to remember this and respect that. Teach them what they need, but be sure that they need it. Allow that curiosity to grow and maybe they'll take you on a curious adventure to discover why the world is the way it is. I assure you that if you do this you will engender a trust between you and your child that will be amazing. Your child will look at you as the person who will know everything, no matter what, just because you are their parent. Imagine really introducing your children to those answers to their questions. Imagine justifying that trust they put in you. Imagine being the person who really did know everything for their kids. You don't actually have to know everything, just be willing to find out, even if it takes a little curiosity and a sense of adventure.

I think I may be putting my head on the block here, but while I agree with much of what NOTfnordian has said, I cannot agree with it all.

From my own personal observations children are not hateless; they are not greedless and while some are fearless this is not a universal fact.

Yes, humans are special but we are a part of the animal kingdom. Our instincts for survival are strong and are still deeply rooted in our genes. Young children have not yet learnt that things to play with are not necessary for survival in this day and age. Children play because it is the way in which they learn to become adults and learn to survive. They play with sticks or toys so that they learn dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination, the tools of the trade in the world of the hunter-gatherer. In evolutionary terms, if they did not have these things to play with, it was in their own best interests to get them from someone else. The same argument applies to food and I think we have all seen children fighting over sweets and candy bars - food was scarce, so take what you need or die. Many children are greedy and self-centred, and they are also curious, which is why, when they can't have something they want it even more in their desire to find out why the other person wants it so much. This is their nature, they don't know any better.

Children naturally dislike, or may be afraid of, people who 'look different' - be they of a different racial group or maybe just have big ears or a limp. Life was tough for evolving hominids. The instinct to protect their own tribe or pack was strong, and this included repelling, or making war on other packs - I think this is why children's innate dislike of certain people or of ones from different cultures evolved. A soclialized adult is one who has overcome these tribal instincts. As socialized adults it is our job to teach our children tolerance, acceptance and understanding, not to sit back and learn from them.

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