For years, major media campaigns have called upon parents to talk with their children about the use of drugs; urging a parent's duty to help the child resist peer pressure to experiment with harmful or addictive substances. The idea is sound, indeed part of any parent's responsibility. But it is equally essential that parents talk with their children about other societal pressures to try or embrace what may be harmful, addictive or threatening, to their future well being--and/or to that of the family and community of which they may be a part. In fact, upon closer inspection, it will be found that peer pressures, which may cause youth to experiment with drugs, are very similar to social pressures, which promote fawning over egalitarian fantasies. The latter are reflected, not only in a contemporary "politically correct" stultification of discussion on important social issues, but in a vast array of foolish programs, wasted resources and aberrant behavior. Yet more ominous, has been a serious undermining of the foundations for social and cultural continuity, in a lost sense of individual identity and purpose.
Whether you are seeking to make children aware of the dangers of mind or mood altering drugs, or the fantasies promoted by Leftist groups, influential in the media and education, seeking acceptance of the premises of an undifferentiated humanity; a good place to begin is by reading or retelling the Hans Christian Andersen story of the "Emperor's New Clothes." This followed by an easy-going discussion of the observed danger in group dynamics, where no one comes to the interactive process with a sense of moral dedication to truth, can be very effective. The parallels between trying drugs because of 'peer pressure,' i.e. 'everyone else is doing it,' and accepting the media/educational establishment spin that denies or trivializes the importance of nature, in the nature/nurture debate, while blaming those who succeed--whether groups or individuals--for the failures of others, should be obvious. Initial drug usage is often based upon a perceived need to conform to behavioral patterns; while ideological acceptance may be based upon a perceived need to conform to ex cathedra pronouncements of supposed "experts."
Combining two quite different, yet analogous, examples of the uncritical acceptance of a false argument, offers an unusually good opportunity to drive home what is essential. In our examples, both the user and fawner illustrate the fear of being seen as an "outsider" or "non-conformist." Teaching children to recognize each set of logical fallacies, as well as the symptomatic signs of fawning and 'knee-jerk' acceptance, can be a major step, both in protecting them from similar conduct, and in helping them develop a level of self-confidence in their own judgment, which will have positive consequences throughout their lives.
The importance of this approach can scarcely be overstated. This is your opportunity to protect the children you love from being led into paths of addiction, neurotic compulsion, guilt, fear, or simply--for whatever reason--from choosing to live a lie. Traditional community value support systems have already broken down. Without proper parental guidance, it is all too clear that many children will never develop the self-confidence to seek truth--especially when the subject may be awkward--or ever to be really comfortable in giving proper expression to the unique personality, which is their own. Yet let us look more closely at the timing and use of the Andersen fable.
It is essential to broach the subject before a child enters any school. No matter how exemplary the institution, you can never be absolutely certain that your values will be respected by all with whom your child may come in contact. A five year old is not too young for the Hans Christian Andersen fable--the lesson at its most basic level. [Indeed, it would be well if your four year olds had already been exposed to the lives & basic principles of Washington & Jefferson.] But we are certainly not suggesting a single discussion; rather a loving, ongoing, interactive process, from childhood through emancipation.
One can no longer watch television or go to a movie, without being subjected to a Leftist view of human life. The parent should assume that his children will be subjected to the pretense of human equality, to an acceptance of societal blame for individual human failure and misconduct, both in and out of school, well before they are exposed to a possible use of mind or mood altering drugs. Ignoring what is going on all around them, ideologically, is every bit as serious as ignoring the likelihood that they will be exposed to drug usage behind your back.
Admittedly, we speculate. There are no accurate statistics as to the number of contemporary American lives already scarred by drug addition. There are certainly no accurate statistics as to those psychologically scarred with absurd guilt complexes or a sense of embarrassment over the achievements of their forebears, on one hand, or emotionally crippled after being taught to hate and resent those whose families have been more successful, on the other. Our best educated guess is that far more lives have been damaged by Leftist propaganda than by drug usage. Thus, the sooner you can start anticipatory character training, the better.
First lessons should be short and to the point. After the story, ask the child's impression; listen, and comment on the human tendency to "go along to get along." Do not denounce it--you are not necessarily raising rebels--although any traditionalist who does not realize that we may come to a point where rebellion will be necessary to avert a Socialist millennium, is sadly naive. However, you want to teach the realities of human nature, an understanding of truth, before you ever get into anything ideological. Reverence for truth is the object, and the honest little boy in the Hans Christian Andersen story is indeed a model; not as a rebel, but as one who knows, and has the innocent natural self-confidence to recognize, what is true.
Even by the age of five, most reasonably intelligent children will have noticed the tendency of some adults to indulge in hyperbole, in commenting to young children about their growth, progress or what-have-you. While this does not rise to the level of praising a suit that does not exist, it is analogous to the same fawning tendency, yet in a milder form. It does not mean that the aunt or neighbor is evil, or that their purpose is anything but kind; but helping children to recognize that even very nice people may exaggerate to make others feel good, helps set a basic foundation for understanding how even very "nice kids" may someday try to get them to use harmful substances, or that even "very nice" school teachers, politicians or celebrities, may preach the false shibboleths and pseudo science of a 'politically correct' egalitarianism.
The reason for this is to anticipate both 'peer' dangers that may arise from a child's own natural tendency towards sociability, and the standard propaganda of the Left, which claims a moral high ground by appealing to the innocent child's sense of fairness. If you do not start pre-school, you may find the child has already come to believe that his family's values were based upon 'prejudice,' 'fear' or 'greed,' before he or she has even come to a point, where you feel they are ready for an in depth explanation of just what you really do believe. And it is naive to think that you can head this problem off, by simply sending your children to "Sunday School," where you assume that they will learn a reverence for God and Truth. While most Socialists, today, seek to undermine Faith, the sad truth is that most organized religions are riddled with humanists, skilled and willing to twist a child's simple trust to appear to justify pursuit of a new egalitarian world order, premised on an undifferentiated humanity.
You understand that the Fifth Commandment is about honoring your lines of descent and the achievements of your people; that the Tenth is about respecting the rightful property of others; and that pretending things that are demonstrably not true about the products of Creation, is not to honor God but to deny his Providence. Your children may never come to understand such things in the same light, if you allow propagandists an opportunity to put a "spin" on their perspective, before you make certain that they understand basic truths of Human Nature--including the difference between good intentions and good results--and the realities of human variation, as reflected in human potential, conduct and achievement. And again, in doing your job, by fortifying a child against false prophets in the ideological realm, you also help insulate that child against those who will later try to recruit him into "trying" substances that will give him artificial "highs," or artificial relief from normal anxieties or tension.
But what lesson should follow that Hans Christian Andersen fable?
In order to effectively prepare children to resist harmful influences of whatever sort, you must consider the specific nature of potential influences, and anticipate those to which your children are most likely to be exposed. Then you must prepare to discuss those subjects, not from the standpoint of a mature adult, stating all that is wrong with the course you would have your children avoid; but rather from the perspective of just how the problem is most likely to be presented to each child, given the totality of circumstances specifically related to that child and the probable source or sources of the threat. Yet, while thus identifying specific dangers, you should seek to counter those threats in ways that will also prepare your children to resist others--those you might never anticipate--both as children and adults.
Thus, it is important to address potential problems from a positive perspective. Trying to frighten children into doing what is right may seem to work in particular situations--certainly a fear of consequences has always been a major deterrent to anti-social behavior. But such approach does not address the need to prepare children for all of the sometimes unpredictable vicissitudes of life, one of the most important psychological needs in a nurturing process. More specifically, it does not prepare children to always seek to do what is right, because it is what is right. It does not give them the self-confidence to trust their own judgment; either to resist the dares of friends to try something foolish, or to resist the Leftist egalitarian shibboleths, to which they will be exposed throughout their schooling and, indeed, throughout their lives.
There is, in fact, real danger inherent in putting fear of consequences ahead of a positive approach, as the principal deterrent to undesirable conduct or a loss of values. There may come a time when the child, or later adult, ceases to fear the threatened consequences--or comes to fear other consequences more--and rebels against your training, with very sad results. So how should one proceed?
As indicated, the greatest danger to a child, during the first few years of formal schooling, will almost certainly come from an ideological assault. While there are cases of substance abuse even in elementary school, these are far less likely for the six or seven year old, than a massive dose of a sort of "one-world" egalitarian humanism that directly challenges traditional family values, patriotism, and the once, characteristically American, skepticism towards big Government or dependence upon collective, rather than individual, action. Moreover, even with respect to any inclination to try mind or mood altering substances, an intelligent preparation to resist egalitarian propaganda will involve the development of personal insights--as well as the self-confidence--effective there also. Understanding the generic source of a threat should dictate the best approach to countering it.
Thus, while you may be angry at the idea of your child's first grade teacher parroting Leftist racial dogma, or seeking to undermine traditional concepts of proper behavior for a boy or girl, or suggesting that mainstream Americans were driven by fear or hate in favoring restricted immigration; it is important that you not lose focus. The chances are overwhelming that the teacher is not malicious, but simply accepting what she or he has been taught. Those early talks with your child are not the time to explain Communist and Socialist roles in the "Civil Rights" movement, or in the cult of "Diversity," or the Feminist tangent. That can come later. Forget any notion that you need to attack anyone's motives. That could even undermine what you need to accomplish to set your child on a path to understanding reality and avoiding misleading rationalizations. Before any other consideration, that requires helping the child to both perceive and understand what is factually significant, with the self-confidence to reject what is wrong--regardless of the nature or source of the wrong-headed influence.
Never challenge a child's instinctive urge to be fair, with distraction over a secondary issue. Rather seek to engage that instinct in a lifetime devotion to truth and personal responsibility. And the best way to proceed, is by directing lessons to what is readily grasped. We can suggest two excellent lines of approach; the order to be followed, in each individual case, depending upon the previously observed focus of the particular child.
One useful line to explore, once the Hans Christian Andersen lesson has been mastered, is to direct attention to animal life--certainly governed by the same Natural Laws of development as Mankind--to make some basic points, with easily grasped analogies. Perhaps the most important of these--because it anticipates an argument that you know will be employed to mislead your child--is that one does not hate those one understands to be different--far from it. A child may prefer one breed of dog to another, or the family cat to a neighbor's. It would never ordinarily occur to him or her, that in recognizing different characteristics of the one or the other, he is hating or disparaging anything. That sort of attribution, in the adult world, is the result of endlessly repeated Leftist aspersions against normal human preferences. It is neither natural nor rational!
Most children love animals. Thus a focus on the Natural History of the animal world, particularly as to species with which your child has some familiarity, points the concept of biological and psychological variation in a constructive direction. A child brought up to respect differences between definable species, breeds and races, as a positive reflection of the unique qualities of each, will be far less likely to fall victim to the Leftist compulsion to deny the meaningful differences, or unique attributes, of any of the human sub-species. Once a child sees the wonder of a diverse Creation, he will more easily recognize the hopelessly flawed vision of the Left for what it is. Furthermore, a study of familiar animal life can provide useful analogies to help fortify your child against the ongoing assault on normal human sex roles and sexuality--although our next recommendation may prove more useful in that direction.
While politicians, teachers, journalists, liberal clerics--even some "conservative" talk show hosts--prattle about anyone having an ability to be anything they want to be, a child can easily grasp the reality that a Clydesdale will never win a mile horse race with a thoroughbred, nor the latter ever win a 'tug-of-war' against a Clydesdale. And looking into his or her own heart and mind, that child will understand that there is no prejudice, fear or hatred, involved in not trying to mate your dachshund with a collie, or in understanding the simple realities involved. In follow-up discussions, the child can learn to accept the vast array of different innate characteristics among Mankind; with differing aptitudes and achievements, linked at least in large part to the realities of those diverse natures. Proceeding along such lines, always with a kindly but realistic approach, you will, in large measure, inoculate that child against every form of Socialist incantation. But that is still only a start towards doing your duty as a parent.
Our other recommendation, to follow mastery of the Hans Christian Andersen lesson, would be to discuss family histories--both your own and those of early settlers in some of the varied communities, which were to become the America of the Founding Fathers. No one's history is that of disconnected, ideologically driven souls, wandering the earth in an egalitarian pursuit. Human history is a sometimes recorded, often unrecorded, struggle of families, tribes and nations, seeking to survive, achieve and pass on their achievements, both spiritual and material, through their progeny--the lines of descent that provide continuity and an ongoing sense of purpose--via traditional family structures. Discuss family as an ongoing dynamic, requiring generation spanning purpose to reach potential; and then teach your child something of the broader human experience, as it is reflected in all you would preserve in American culture.
There is no better way to teach the nature of the human experience, or responsible conduct or what the Founding Fathers were actually about in 1776, than to talk with your children, in their formative years, about the early patterns of European settlement during the Colonial era. To the extent that you can make that history come alive, you will not only enable your children to understand America, but to see the folly in what some of our leaders are doing to undermine her. To the extent that you can inspire their senses, both of adventure and multi-generation spanning purpose, you will motivate children to constructive pursuits throughout their lives. Yet note, your initial discussions of Colonial America may not be the time to go very deeply into the unfortunate antagonisms that later developed.
This web site reflects values, and an historic view of the American experience, more closely allied to that of traditional Virginia than to that of New England. But the early Puritan settlement of New England may better illustrate one essential point, in that, despite an intense commitment to a particular theological view, men were willing to risk everything to preserve ethnic continuity.
Briefly, the original Puritan settlers ("Pilgrims") represented a distinct subset of the late 16th, early 17th Century, English Nation. Coming from adjacent Counties in the North of England, they were distinguished from many of their neighbors, both by their religious fervor and by tenacity in their dissent from a prevailing theology, despite repeated persecution. They were also noteworthy for personal industry. In 1608, they had left England for Leyden in the Netherlands, where they had been promised religious toleration.
Although the Pilgrims learned useful new trades in the Netherlands, and enjoyed the toleration promised, Dutch ethnic culture was less to their liking. Indeed, finding their children adopting Dutch ways, they resolved to reaffirm their English ethnicity in 1617, and sought authorization to create their own colony in the vast new land to which England had laid claim in North America. After some pleading and cajoling, a legal permit was obtained in 1620; and, opting to risk everything by migrating to England's little known New World, just over 100 of their congregation sailed across the Atlantic to found the first English settlement in what was to become Massachusetts. But they represented not the mainstream of the English nation at that time, only a clearly distinguishable subset, determined to maintain a particular culture. As George Bancroft, the great 19th Century American historian commented, even in praising their many virtues and later contributions to responsible, but popular, self-Government:
'To enjoy religious liberty was the known end of the first comers' great adventure into this remote wilderness'; and they desired no increase, but from the friends of their communion.
[A note of caution: While Bancroft remarked that the Pilgrims "wide experience had emancipated them from bigotry," their tolerance would certainly be open to some question. For an interesting example: In a 1931 book, The Rape Of Temperance, former Senator James A. Reed quoted the later Puritan leader Cotton Mather, from a 1682 letter to his friend John Higginson. After obtaining authority from the general court to "waylay" a ship on which William Penn and other Quaker settlers were headed for what was to become Pennsylvania, Mather proposed to "make captive the said Penn and his ungodly crew, so that the Lord may be glorified and not mocked"; further proposing the sale of the Quakers into slavery in Barbados for rum and sugar! While that was two generations after the original Puritan arrival, it demonstrates the continuing intensity of dogma among Puritans, which continued for yet another two centuries to distinguish theirs from other genetic threads, established in the formative Colonial era. (For a time in the 1650s, the Massachusetts Puritans had legislation in place that even authorized bodily mutilation for practicing Quakers!)
It would probably be a mistake, confusing fundamental concepts involved in the step by step preparation of your children to reject harmful influences--and not be intimidated by the lie that contemporary Conservative efforts to preserve ethnicity are prompted by "hate"--to get into such specifics of Puritan intolerance; not with the five, six or seven year olds. Far better to simply emphasize the positive aspects of the Puritan Faith: self-discipline, industry and ethnic pride--as well as their firm trust in God. In those qualities you begin to lay a solid groundwork to help your child resist not only egalitarian attacks on human success and ethnic continuity, but drugs and mind altering substances, as well as ACLU driven attacks on public religious observance.]
The most significant 17th Century settlements in Colonial America, were those in Virginia; not only the most populous American State at the time of the Revolution, but clearly the most influential in the formulation of our foundational concepts. From the first surviving settlement, in 1607, by a small group of English settlers, Virginia rapidly became the choice destination for migrating British types, including Cavaliers--especially the younger sons of the landed classes, unable to inherit land at home by reason of the prevailing law--seeking their own real property. These represented the more Conservative elements in a mainstream British culture, from which the dissenting Puritan subset, which went to New England, had originally sought to escape in emigrating to Holland.
With the Puritan ascendancy in England under Cromwell, in the 1640s, and again, following the defeat of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" in 1745, Virginia's numbers were augmented by the like-minded, for whom England and Scotland were suddenly far less congenial. There was also a significant infusion of the best of French genes from the very talented Huguenots, driven out of France in the 1680s.
While the English subset that settled in New England were noteworthy for industry and a particular intensity of belief, Virginians tended towards a more refined and calmly reflective life. They sought to perfect the art of living graciously. They celebrated femininity in ways that gave women true confidence in being women; in enjoying being women--much as Sarina Stuart in our novel Return Of The Gods. They expected men to be honorable and manly--gallant and protective of those women--striving to be the best that they could be in respect to a gentlemanly code; even as their sisters sought to be true ladies. In these pursuits, they helped set a standard for the South generally--as did the South Carolinians, who progressed culturally in a quite similar direction. It was a natural consequence of these quests, that a society would arise in which everyone who sought to do what was right in his or her own life, from the greatest plantation owner to the simple Negro field hand, had a respected role. Nor should it surprise anyone, that in a more reflective, more tolerant time, there were many who considered the Old South, the last true "civilization" on earth.
[Note: It may be no more for the six year old than Cotton Mather & the Quakers, but well before Junior High School, perhaps by age 7 1/2, it would be well to explain to your children, that in the non-egalitarian Virginia culture, there were few of either the sexual or racial revolts, which have so bedeviled life elsewhere over the past two generations. In encouraging people to respect and celebrate what they can do, and who they are, you bring out something much better than teaching them to resent and envy who, and what, they are not. Of course, that is only common sense. But making the point with an example that directly challenges egalitarian shibboleths, is the most effective way to inoculate each of us against a poison served daily.]
We do not mean to ignore the importance of early Dutch and English settlements in New York, or various settlers in Colonial Pennsylvania, New Jersey or other Southern & Border States; which though influenced by cultures in Virginia and South Carolina, certainly reflected the unique qualities of their own families. This is intended to suggest subjects for discussion with your children, not provide even a brief summary of Colonial ethnic development.
Each of these settlements--as every distinct ethnic culture--proceeded through the generations; men and women, marrying, having children; raising those children with an ongoing sense of continuity and purpose, according to their several and distinct lights. The common Americanism, which arose in the Revolution, did not erase cultural achievements that rendered each a unique reflection of a definable group. Rather, it introduced an additional common purpose, born in mutual respect; a greater toleration, conceived in an appreciation of complementary interests and recently shared experiences and accomplishments, coupled with a sense of common destiny and mutual benefit. Yet in that common purpose, there remained respect for what was unique to each.
Thus the Constitution was silent as to any Federal role in determining cultural norms. The Bill of Rights (the first ten Amendments) denied Congress, but not the States, any role "respecting" an establishment of religion. It could neither establish religion nor interfere with religion, where locally established. Suffrage in Federal elections was left to each State to define for itself. Respect for one another in societies based upon the traditional values of families with honored histories, seeking progress according to those several and distinct lights, reflecting ongoing, generation spanning, cultural dynamics, was the order of the day. In talking with a child, the parent should focus on the family function in that process; the distinct, yet honored, roles of man and woman; the moral responsibility towards one another, and, above all, to the children dependent upon that responsibility.
In describing the many generations who have honored God and heritage, in the past quest for all things good and beneficial, you plant important images in a child's memory; images more consistent with the multi-generational realities of the human experience--with the nature of Man--than anything the Left can set before him. Such lessons are the building blocks in your quest to protect your children. They can give a child a sense of positive adventure, and an understanding of many things, totally incompatible with the false values of the Socialist systems that have beset the West over the past Century. They fortify the psyche against baleful influences that appeal to all that is base in Man's nature.
As it is essential to anticipate influences that may tend to undermine cultural and ethnic continuity, in order to prepare a child's resistance, so it is necessary to refine analysis of a possible proclivity to try drugs because of a desire to be popular, agreeable or conformist--aspects of a desire to be liked. Frequent discussions with your child--in which you both talk and listen, as he or she ages--can be very productive. The greatest benefit of the combined approach, advocated here, is that in giving the child a sense of multi-generational purpose, in the quest for ethnic and cultural continuity, you help instill a constructive understanding of long-term individual purpose that goes beyond immediate gratification. This can only heighten self-respect. It increases the ability to resist all harmful social pressures, specifically including temptations to experiment with substances that may interfere with normal personality development or achievement. If you proceed along these lines, with the same foundational, yet adventure stirring, approach, you will in large measure provide your child with incentives to do the right things, both with respect to saying "no" to addictive drugs, as well as to every pressure to betray heritage or family values.
Of course, whichever option you select first; it should, once thoroughly grasped, be followed by the other. It is essential to your purpose that both principles derived from recognizing biological and psychological uniqueness, and an ongoing sense of responsibility which spans generations, be clearly understood. Again, the one protects well against the Socialist blame, guilt and resentment game; the other against the corrupting influences of a great variety of phenomena, agitations and temptations.
The process we advocate does not end with the five, six or seven year old. Once you have sown a sound comprehension of family and ethnic purpose that spans generations, indeed centuries, you need to keep in close touch with those same children. You need to build on the foundation you have laid. Encourage your children to talk with you about the ideological content of what they hear in school, as well as about other types of influence to which they may be exposed, whether in their thinking or conduct. These conversations should be in the form of a parent listening and responding to interesting information from a child, one he or she respects--never in the form of a stern inquisition;--part of a loving family dynamic between parent and child, developing together through the years to be adult allies in that ongoing, multi-generational, quest.
Such conversations will help your children resist the drug culture far better than any limited to the subject of drugs alone. In giving your boys a sense of the responsibility, honor, glory, romance and adventure, in growing into manly men; in giving your girls a sense of the responsibility, honor, glory, romance and adventure, in growing into truly feminine women;--each at peace with the natural roles of man and woman;--you give to each a sense of pursuit and purpose, which makes an artificial escape from one's true nature anything but appealing. In making each realize a potential to play a meaningful role in respect to the ongoing dynamic of God's Creation, and the unfolding history of their Nation, you begin to fulfill an all too often neglected parental role. It has been in the shadow of such neglect, that the forces of corruption, degradation & evil, have flourished over the past sixty years.
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