Discovering The Culture Of Childhood | Quote 01752

The marks we see as signs of childhood immaturity are actually highly sophisticated tools for learning and growth. Play is a highly complex tool for developing a worldview, imaginary friends offer a sophisticated alternative reality that allows children to test the laws of behavior, and children’s uninhibited, “unfocused” attention is precisely what allows them to learn so quickly and rapidly. We don’t understand that the ways children interact with the world have developmental purposes of their own, necessary and complete as they are.

Discovering The Culture Of Childhood | Quote 00435

The adult bias about children’s social structure has two layers. First, adults believe that if any social structure does exist, it consists of negative interactions between children: children hit one another, take toys, push, bite, and exclude each other from play. Second, when children do have successful peer interactions, it is because of the hard work of dedicated parents and child care professionals— they don’t learn to be social on their own.