Parenting Guide urges Character Education, not Kool-Aid
Don’t let the Kids Drink the Kool-Aid
Washington Times columnist and founder of OntheCulture.com
Mrs. Hicks catalogs how the Left has undermined our American character for half a century:
- Leftist school curriculum
- Destruction of the American family
- The Left’s campaign against God
- Gender destruction, and other immorality
- Environmentalism, and other junk science and hoaxes
Solution: Character Education by the Parents
We must restore Civic Virtue
Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters. ~Benjamin Franklin
If virtue and knowledge are diffused among the people, they will never be enslaved. This will be their great security. ~John Adams
The civic virtue of our Founders, themselves imperfect beings, still serves as the example and ideal for the development of moral citizenship in America today. Imbuing our children with virtues for personal conduct, public conduct, and civic leadership will restore America in the next generation. This is the key to revitalizing our republic, and to reigniting the love of freedom in the hearts of our youngest citizens. (Hicks, 186)
Civic Virtues to Guide Personal Conduct
- Self-discipline. We need to teach our childre4n that liberty is a blessing, and that freedom and license are not the same.
- Forbearance is the virtue that displays maturity. As parents, we must stop indulging our children’s every wish and whim, smoothing the way so that they are never frustrated or denied. Instead, as the proverb says, we should “Prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child.”
- The self-esteem obsession that has grown into a dangerous sense of narcissism among our youth is evident in their quest for fame and notoriety. As well, parents too often protect children from the gift of failure and the lessons that only disappointment can provide. Humility, which they must learn by living accountable for their actions, will permit our children to have genuine respect for others. Our of humility comes respect, and out of respect comes gratitude. (Hicks, 187)
- . . .we allow our children to believe that every urge and whim is permissible, natural, and appropriate. If we teach moderation in all things—from material possessions to emotional expressions, from the foods we consume to the time we spend entertaining ourselves—we will instill the virtue that underlies temperance and prudence and discernment. (Hicks, 188)
Civic Virtues to Guide Public Conduct
- Honor, Integrity, Consequences. Parents, so concerned with promoting their children’s achievements, are sometimes willing to teach their children dishonorable habits to get ahead. Only when they feel the pain of shame can our children understand the value of honor. Yet we adults routinely protect our children from the consequences of their actions. If we teach our children the value of their good word, they will absorb the trait of integrity. From integrity comes honor; and from honor comes inspiration.
- Civility. From etiquette come civility, and from civility comes equanimity—the poise to remain composed in even the most fervent debate.
- Independence. Helicopter parents who follow their young adult children to college and into the workforce send the message that being a “grown up” is optional and unnecessary. From self-reliance comes self-confidence, and from self-confidence comes independence. (Hickens, 189-190)
- Reason. The radical and atheist Left loves to invoke the “Age of Reason” as proof that our Founders were men of the Enlightenment. But reason and faithlessness are not one and the same. We train our children to believe that creating a vision for their futures or establishing goals and aspirations is merely a matter of being in touch with their feelings. At the same time, we convince them that their self-image is incapable of surviving an insult. Thus in addition to being overly emotional, they’re not particularly resilient. We must teach our children that it is noble to think, believe, and know things in our minds, not only to feel things. . .From reason comes understanding, and from understanding comes persuasion.
Civic Virtues to Guide the Nation
- Citizenship. We can no longer tolerate an educational system that permits ignorance and propaganda to inform the political identity of an entire generation. From informed citizenship comes effective participation and from effective participation come true civic leadership.
- Magnanimity. We must raise the bar of our expectations. When we do this, we discover that our young people are ready, willing, and able to do hard things, purposeful things, and even self-sacrificial things. Restoring America means rebuilding a sense of idealism in our children. From idealism will come magnanimity. From magnanimity, history is made.
- Fidelity. We must accept and teach that our American citizenship requires us to define the hill on which we would die, rather than lose the liberty that affords our way of life. Faithfulness to America cannot be reserved for the few and proud, but must be inherent in our children’s character.
- Reverence. Nothing indicts us as a generation of adults more than the unbelief of our children. That our youth are doubtful of God means they have been abandoned—not by God, but by those whose obligation is to lead them to His service.
In a country where nothing is sacred and everything is fodder for the amusement of cynics, and where reverence has long since been replaced by political correctness, we must return God to the public square and to the hearts and minds of our children. By instilling simple respect for the faithfulness that inspired our founding, we can recapture the reverence that caused our nation to be.
From reverence comes blessedness, and the enduring promise that is America.