Should children be allowed to follow their instincts?

“The child is the father of man”

The great English romantic poet, William Wordsworth, believed that a child is the father of man as he has knowledge which is not tarnished by human experience. This initial knowledge is, referred by many scholars as, intuitive knowledge or intuition. This kind of knowledge can never be acquired by any means; it is an innate capability of a child. However, this innate ability of child fades away as we imbue him with norms and principles of the society. However, there are many scholars who believe that child’s intuition cannot teach him those values which are acceptable by his society. Therefore, it is necessary to teach him the difference between what is acceptable and what is not acceptable. Those who favor teachings over intuition also believe that child does not have necessary experience to decide what is good for him and what is bad.

Those who believe that a child must be allowed to follow his instincts are of the opinion that a child is born with innate capabilities. A child must have freedom to explore his capabilities and potential and foster them. By providing children the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes and experiences, we can teach them to be independent and responsible. When we force children to follow the path we have chosen for them, then we actually deprive them of their freedom.

On the flip side, there are people who are against the concept of relying on the intuitive learning ability of the child. Such people argue that child’s mind is like a plain paper.  The mind of child needs guidance and teachings which cannot be acquired by means of intuition. Children are highly impressionable; they learn and imitate what they see. Therefore, it is better to tell them what is right and what is wrong, so that they would not imitate something which is bad and unacceptable. It is important to imbue children with valuable morals and principles of the society. If children will not learn, the difference between good and bad, then they will adopt habits that will conflict with the set-system of the society.

Conclusively, it can be said that child’s social upbringing is important. However, neglecting his innate abilities is completely wrong. Parents must allow their children to explore their potential and must help them to foster it. Children must have the right to choose their future career by knowing their likes and dislike. If parents will try to mold their child’s life according to their own will, then they will do a great injustice to their child.