Thursday, August 04, 2005

This One Made Me Go, "Hmmmm..."

I found a lot of food for thought in Amba's piece on Generation Liberaton at Ambivablog. I had never thought about age grading and how it could impact relationships over a lifetime, and it really has my wheels turning. Not going anywhere yet, but definitely turning. First I'll share a slice, then a thought.
For thousands of years of human history-- and in many parts of the world today-- children were raised in the meaning-rich context of family and community. They interacted constantly with children of various ages, and spent much of their time apprenticing to meaningful tasks alongside their parents, other adults, and older children. They were often responsible for the care of younger siblings. . . .

Industrialization, however, by removing work from the community, pushed children into schools where they interacted more exclusively with their same-age peers, and often apprenticed to abstract tasks instead of practical ones. And the bonds of family and community began to fray:
That's the slice; here's the thought. My wife and I have a modular family of eight children. It includes a wide ranging constellation of ages from 7 to 27. The youngest three are separated by two gaps of 6 years each. The fighting and rivalry are worse with this disparity of age than they ever were with the older siblings born closer together.

The wheels are still turning about what this may, or may not, have to do with "age grading", but I really am going, "hmmmm..."


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