I saw a bumper sticker that said "I DON'T WANT TO LIVE IN A CHILD-PROOFED WORLD." Strong stuff, and yet the full import may escape many of us. We may conclude, "ah, a bitter and childless adult, setting his or her selfish interests against the best interests of the children!"
True, but it's not the whole story. In fact, if we only give it a little thought, we are forced to conclude that the principle embodied on that bumper-sticker is by far in the great good interest of all of our children. Because unless they are prevented from doing so, all of them are going to grow up.
The greatest boon we can leave our children is a world that has not been made unlivably insipid. A world where it will in fact be possible for them to live and learn and decide and express freely, as adults.
If we must occasionally hush and pull down blinds on our children's precocious questions, this is an inconvenience the children will at least get to grow out of. But if we remake the world into one where adults are required to hush and pull blinds on themselves, this will be an inconvenience no child will ever be permitted to grow out of. It will be an inconvenience they must live within, permanently constrained and stunted. For whose benefit?
It is not for the benefit of "the children," or of any child. It is for the benefit of those who seek to control the adults.