|and I am going to impart the small wisdom I've gleaned throughout my scarce years the best I can.
I don't think that statement is what people are neccessarily having issues with. I certainly don't. I don't think there is anything wrong with providing information in a conversational setting that will assist children in making informed decisions. In other words, say I am writing a thank you note to someone and my child asks "whatcha' doing"" (as most children are interested in what their parents are doing) ... I would explain that I am writing a thank you note to so and so because they sent me a lovely card/gift whatever, and I wanted them to know how much I appreciated their thought. End of story. I imparted the information in a non-coercive, non-manipulative, conversational way...trusting that my child has observed and will process the information and use it in the future if she chooses....
I think the issue is arising because people are doing more than just "imparting wisdom"...they are lecturing in the car ride over, they are watching their child's reaction when opening the gift (or whatever), they are giving "the look", taking them aside, nudging them to say the "right" words, "reminding" them in front of others to say the "right" words, and so on...
That is where I disagree. I don't have a problem at all with manners, social customs (as it relates to manners), modeling, or sharing information with my daughter about how *most* people react in certain situations, or about why I do the things I do (write thank you notes, etc)...or a combination thereof. That is where It stops though for me. That is where she is given the choice with the information she has, the observations she has made, and the modeling she has seen to decide whether or not she chooses to act, or not.
As far as the educational system, I am just speaking for myself when I say that looking back now, it was all about conforming, learning how to "act", survival of the fittest (or richest, or prettiest, or best behaved if you will), and learning 12 years of stifling independant thought, but for one or two teachers who I felt really nurtured thought and individuality (they were rare though).
It has taken me years to "undo" that in my head and in my life and I am finally there (though we are all works in progress). Schools in general are not big on independant thought or anyone who goes against the grain in my experience.