Coercion and Education

The most extreme expression of not coercing a child is the Halachah that if a child is eating non-kosher food, the Beit Din is not commanded to separate him (Yevamot 114a).
We obviously should not understand this statement to mean that there should be anarchy in the child's life. Rather it teaches that while a Beit Din is not commanded to interfere, a father is certainly obligated to educate the child (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 343:1). We thus learn that there is a difference between coercion and education. Education is built upon love, trust and a close connection. Coercion is general, education is personal. We do not educate uniformly – not even children from the same family. Hashem therefore ordered it so that all the children in one family are not born at the same time to allow each one to slowly develop his character.
It is certainly true that a father and mother possess an awesome responsibility to educate their child, and the Beit Din must also be concerned that the parent's obligation is fulfilled (Mishnah Berurah ibid.). But it must not be done through coercion, since we do not gain anything from acting in this way. We must gently guide every child toward the good, each according to his ability.