My response to the very controversial article linked to below:

It’s complicated. It depends entirely on the source within the adult for the limits and boundaries in the guidance of the child. Is the adult’s guidance coming from a wellspring of knowledge, love and joy or one of harsh authoritarian control?

What Wendy proposes would be carried out in a kind and firm, loving and clear, consistent and pleasant manner! And it would all add up to provide the child a secure life filled with meaning and a sense of purpose as well as a confidence in self and trust in others. The child would be experienced and feel capable. The child would know joy.

The child’s primordial cry, and that of the adult–the human cry to one another is “Help me to do it for/by myself.” The powerful presumption made here is that the parents of the child have “helped” the child along the way, over the years, to be capable of the struggle to “do it for/by myself. The child would not have been handicapped by parental control or pressure, pampering or addictive praise. The “help” in the “do it by/for myself” would have taken the form of the parents’ provision of loving, firm, cheerful and enjoyable structures and of their maintenance, age-appropriate and tailored to the individual child:  the firm but cheerful family structure of specific times and specific support for meals, activities, putting away, helping out, bath and bed; the firm but cheerful family structure and support of a thoughtfully prepared and age appropriate environment with a vast and rotating array of challenging and engaging activities set out for the child’s exploration and choice promoting by independent engagement, long concentration and energetic effort; the firm but cheerful family structure and support of mannerly and gracious living modeled by parents and gradually adopted in an increasingly complex way by the child; the firm but cheerful family structure and support of age-appropriate and collaborative pitching in to care for the home and garden, contribute to meal preparation and clean up, and do the laundry, flexible, firm and ever evolving; the firm but cheerful family structure and support for demonstrating in clear details the “how to” steps for each and every activity above; and the freedom to enjoy a life of choice, independence and responsibility within this secure and happy family structure of freedom within limits in which the parents practice and model rather preach and command!

It’s complicated. It all depends on the wellspring within the parent.