Gentle Education for a Gentle Age

Before a child reaches the age of education, which is approximately 6, one should direct his physical, emotional, and intellectual growth in a gentle fashion. In a certain sense, one should pamper him. The Gemara tells of one Sage who would buy his son old earthenware pots so he could play with them. This Sage understood that a child sometimes needs to break things while playing in order to build his character. We say to a frightened mother whose son climbs a tree and falls, that it is better for him to get injured on his knee than sustain an injury on his character.
Two Sages who lived in Tzefat four hundred years ago, Rabbi Eliyahu Davidash and Rabbi Moshe ben Machir, both warn in their books not to put pressure on a child before the age of 6 but rather to worry about his needs.
A proof for this idea is from one Sage in the Gemara who was 80 years ago and could stand
on one leg, and take off and put on a shoe on the other leg. When ask where he had to strength to do this, he responded that it is a result of the warm baths and lubricating oil his mother gave him in his youth (Chulin 24b).