"It is probably a mistake, anyway, to assume that whatever little children touch they will destroy, and that we must therefore keep them from touching anything that is not theirs. This dampens their curiosity and confidence. More than that, it probably makes them too fiercely possessive of what is their own. We should try instead, I think, to teach that respecting property does not mean never touching what is not yours, but means treating objects carefully, using them as they are meant to be used, and putting them back where they belong. Children are perfectly able to learn these things; they are less clumsy and destructive than we suppose. And it is only by handling and using objects that children can learn the right way to handle them."
- John Holt How Children Learn