I just finished rereading Prof. David Elkind’s The Hurried Child last week. Elkind, Professor Emeritus of Child Development at Tufts University, rails against the growing tendency to introduce into the preschool years and early grades themes and curricula better suited to older, more intellectually developed children (I’m happy to say that here in Israel, we’ve managed to avoid a lot of this pressure in the school system. My daughter is learning letters and basic math and has a notebook devoted to this in her kindergarten class, but nothing resembling homework or pressure to get it exactly right).
One would think that Elkind would be a big fan of the AP/NP concept that a child must never be pressured to develop new skills, for fear that the stress will do their fragile little psyches in. Only when the child really wants to, they say. In fact, The Hurried Child, which seems to promote that view, is on some AP resource lists.
But then I found his blog, and it seems his problem is with pushing children to develop before they are ready, which is not necessarily the same as a child not wanting to take a developmental step, or that parents must never push a baby towards a developmentally appropriate behavior. I was blown away by this recent post about sleep issues: