Saturday, September 08, 2007

Realistic Parenting

Worldview shapes how we parent. I recommend everyone check out Tony Woodlief's terrific piece "Don't Suffer the Little Children" for some sound advice. (I can hardly believe this was printed in a mainstream newspaper!)
While some mothers and fathers stubbornly cling to the utopian beliefs of their
childless years, the vision of humans as inherently sinful and selfish resonates
with many of us who are parents. Nobody who's stood between a toddler and the
last cookie should still harbor a belief in the inherent virtue of mankind. An
afternoon at the playground is apt to make one toss out the idealist Rousseau
("man is a compassionate and sensible being") in favor of the more realistic
Hobbes ("all mankind [is in] a perpetual and restless desire for power"). As a
father of four sons, I've signed on to Mr. Sowell's summation of a parent's
duty: "Each new generation born is in effect an invasion of civilization by
little barbarians, who must be civilized before it is too late."

Mr. Woodlief is a Thomas Sowell fan. As your children get older, help them work through the concepts in his exceptionally helpful book, "Basic Economics." You'll give them an education they're unlikely to get in most schools. If you develop a strong Christian worldview (e.g., the basic sinfulness of man), then understand how base human behavior drives economic systems, a lot of other organizational thinking falls into place nicely. Let's raise good citizens of a free country.

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