I think there's so much cultural baggage around the conjoined ideas that learning is hard, and children need to be taught, that it's actually really threatening for parents to hear that it's Okay to be nice to kids It's even okay to be proactively nice - to outright look for ways to make their lives easier. It doesn't harm them one bit - short term or long term - to treat kids gently, sweetly, indulgently. It's Safe to be kind to children.

Because if that's true, if kids raised gently "turn out" to be decent human beings as adults... then what's all that pushing and teaching for? Can it really be for nothing? That's a Hugely scary thought - even though for some of us (like me) it's the very thought that opened the door to unschooling: I don't have to be "cruel to be kind", I can just be kind.

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