DON'T PUSH ME, I'M NO COMPUTER: How Pressures to ""Achieve"" Harm Pre-School Children by Helen L. Beck

DON'T PUSH ME, I'M NO COMPUTER: How Pressures to ""Achieve"" Harm Pre-School Children

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Don't Push Me. . . is partly a tirade against ""mechanized"" childrearing and cognitive forcefeeding of pre-schoolers and partly an endorsement of the unstructured play groups, parental support and guidance, and open-ended toys and activities which allow for a more natural rate of development. Beck does cite some commercial horrors -- probably the most outlandish is the cribsheet printed like books, from which parents are instructed to teach the words at baby's bedtime -- but her own less than original point is undercut by the carping rhetoric (""Heaven help us if we should ever be in a position to breed out of the human race all that is human"") which she directs against everything from her chief (and valid) targets: ""cognitive cribs,"" Sesame Street, and computerized nursery schools to ""miracle cleaners and double-load washers,"" faulted because they omit the ""need for children to develop awareness and consideration for mother and her workload""! And though TV commercials are endlessly berated, the toothpaste slogan ""What's a mother to do?"" is repeated as persistently as in any hardsell campaign. Though we agree that intellectual structuring of toddlers is no substitute for emotional reinforcement (a word Beck would never use), her argument would be more persuasive were a modicum of intellectual rigor applied to her free-foaming emotion.

Pub Date: Nov. 12th, 1973
Publisher: McGraw-Hill