This is a fantastic piece by Matt Gurney, about the perils of rushing kids along on the road to grown-up success.

As adorable as the little toddlers were when they stood up and greeted me in unison, seeing a bunch of three-year-olds in matching uniforms, delivering their (obviously rehearsed) greeting as one left me unsettled. Even weeks later I haven’t quite shaken off the unease. It was like a little Borg Collective hive mind with finger paint and snack time. Lower your shields and submit to nap time. Resistance is futile.

Sorry, but kids aren’t supposed to be that perfect. Well behaved is great, but only to a point. Getting a bit messy and rambunctious isn’t a bug, it’s a feature. Let them be kids.

Funny we never think about the child version of success, right? I mean, what's a successful childhood? One that best prepares you for your life as an adult by making you behave like an adult at the age of two, or one that you'll remember fondly decades later as carefree, fun, wonderful, loving, warm time, with bits of (necessary) education thrown in? What is it about the stress of regimented adult life that's so incredibly awesome we need to impose it on toddlers?

Yeah, I didn't think so. I was just commenting to my husband this morning that it's impossible for someone to be the best they can be if they don't know who they are. And how are kids supposed to find out who they are if they never have time to just be themselves? (And by the way, this Simplicity Parenting is a great approach, even if the website has annoying music. Ignore that and go read the book.)