Preparing Our Kids for the Future
by Daniel Ameduri, Liberty Blitzkrieg I heartily accept the motto, — “That government is best which governs least”; and I should like to see it acted up to more rapidly and systematically. Carried out, it finally amounts to this, which also I believe, — “That government is best which governs not at all”; and when men are prepared for it, that will be the kind of government which they will have. Government is at best but an expedient; but most governments are usually, and all governments are sometimes, inexpedient. The objections which have been brought against a standing army, and they are many and weighty, and deserve to prevail, may also at last be brought against a standing government. The standing army is only an arm of the standing government. The government itself, which is only the mode which the people have chosen to execute their will, is equally liable to be abused and perverted before the people can act through it. – Henry David Thoreau, Civil Disobedience I don’t think we can stand around any longer and just send our kids off to school and hope it will all work out. Globalization and tremendous advancements in technology have led to fundamental changes, which in my opinion, have left traditional public schooling in the dark ages. Assembly line education is simply not working out for young people any longer, and ironically, many of these kids are so ignorant they actually think their problem is that they need even more “education.” In reality, the dumbing down of their minds with indoctrination and a focus on political correctness has made them grossly unprepared for life outside the sheltered cocoon of formal schooling. How can you possibly expect someone who has spent most of his or her life in a educational system that discourages risk and critical thinking, and which teaches them to stick with the crowd, to exit college with any meaningful advantage? Kids today are being completely sheltered with free speech “safe zones” and pc paranoia. The obsession with skin color, gender and sexual orientation at colleges today is divisive and unhealthy. Parents seeking to instill a sense of liberty in their children can combat these bad ideas by raising children to think for themselves and to be courageous in the face of groupthink. I see society creating way too many followers, and not enough leaders. This needs to change. In my attempt to play a small role in this process, here are 7 skills I think are important to help children think for themselves:
- Reading: A child must learn to read well. As a parent of a 1-, 4-, and 6-year-old, this is a top priority for my wife and I. We read with them in the morning, evening, and any other chance we get. We also deprive them of TV, which is great because I can’t tell you how many times my 4- and 6-year-old can been found sitting on the couch, flipping through the pages of a book. My 4-year-old actually loves grabbing whatever I’m reading, so she’s often staring at a page full of words, inventing a story in her own mind. That’s plenty good for imagination and creativity.
- Language: Kids must learn to speak well. Children who speak well will be confident, and confident people do better in life. Teaching a child a second language is also a very good idea. When I spoke to famous investor Jim Rogers, I asked him if he could only give one piece of advice to parents today, what would it be, and he said to teach your child a second language. Here in the States, I am teaching mine Spanish. Not only through a Spanish teacher, but when I do flip on the TV on, it’s often “sorry kids, you’re watching Queen Elsa sing Dejalo ir.”
- Writing: I am totally biased on this one since I a make a living from writing. However, I think from business proposals to resumes, you have to know how to write. While we don’t know what technological advancements we will have in 20 years, certainly being able to express your thoughts in written form is going to be important in the future, too.
- Money: This is one that, without a doubt, our schools fail completely at. The lesson on the subject of money can be summed up like this: deliver value to other people and you’ll make money. Deliver value to a lot of people and you’ll make a lot of money. There are many additional lessons revolving around what to do with money once you have it, like savings, debt, and investing in yourself, but in the end, if you want to earn money without rent seeking, you need to add value to others.
- Love: This should have been number one, but most people don’t think of it as a skill to learn. Nevertheless, children do need to learn how to love. They need to witness love in action — loving different people, and loving people even when you’re angry or disagree with them. Most of all, children need to see you love your spouse, if you have one. Nothing, in my opinion, is a stronger demonstration of love and commitment than a healthy marriage, where two people are joined in a common life purpose in which the children are intimately involved.
- Play: This should come naturally to children; however, many kids today are being robbed of this activity. Playing is very healthy for kids, even when they are all alone with just their imagination. Group play is equally important since kids will learn how to get along with and interact with others. As someone who sits in front of a computer 8 hours a day, believe me, the iPad can wait for when they are older.
- Respect: Teach them what this word really means, and what a lifestyle of respecting others entails. They should understand that might does not mean right, and that a law is unjust if it forces you to do something that violates another human being.
To summarize, our schools are training children to become followers instead of leaders and critical thinkers, and it’s going to take some dedicated parenting to turn things around for future generations. Be an activist in your own home! – Daniel Ameduri aka The Dissident Dad