Elizabeth Watson, ‘On Raising Children’ 1989 

 US Friend Elizabeth Watson wrote:

“’Freedom in a framework’ became one of our family phrases and part of the philosophy by which we tried to raise our children. Children need, and want, limits set. The framework ought to be expanding all the time as children and parents learn and grow, so that young people take increasing responsibility for setting their own limits and may as soon as possible become self-determining the and responsible human beings.”

“’I learned that ultimately we cannot protect our children from hardships, disease, accidents, encounters, with evil, even death. The best we can hope to do is to help them learn to take care of themselves, to accept responsibility for their actions, to care about people, and to acquire ‘coping skills’ through experience.”

“…I am glad we chose the city, Chicago – with all its violence, dirt, sordidness, and danger, but also its opportunities for learning, its sheer excitement, its neighbourliness, and its variety of people – as the place for our family to live. And our children are all glad they grew up there. They learned to take care of themselves in practical ways. And they learned what is more important: not to judge by their color, religion, place of origin, or economic status. These things have nothing to do with whether or not you can trust a person.”

from ‘Nine Contemporary Quaker Women Speak’ compiled by Leonard S. Kenworthy. Quaker Publications 1989 reprint 1992

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