Learning to think for themselves
The development of general ability for independent thinking and judgment should always be placed foremost, not the acquisition of special knowledge.
As I watch my young son grow, I am fascinated to see how he learns to think. After just a few months, he seemed to deliberately compare one object with another by studying each one in turn through sight, sound or, more often, taste. By the time he was eleven months old, he was thinking of alternative ways to give food to our dog, Hector. We’d tell him not to give his finger-food to the dog, so he’d smile at us, put the food behind his back and waggle it for the dog to take. Now he is two, he has begun to reason with us: ‘Not go to my bed, go to Mummy/Daddy’s bed. I go to my bed, I’ll cry’.