Young people are taking an increasingly positive view of socialism. According to a study last year, 70 percent of millennials and 64 percent of Zoomers say they would vote for a socialist candidate. What can conservative parents do to keep their children from going down that path?
The left has no scruples about brainwashing your children. So conservative parents need to get there first and consciously shape their children’s attitudes. After all, they are your children. Here are five strategies you can implement to help your children not grow up to be socialists.
1. Show that Big Government Doesn’t Work
Parents should point out big government failures to their children whenever they can. Standing in line at a government office is a great one for this. Use that long wait to explain that the government claims vast powers over our lives but can’t even move people through a line quickly.
The COVID-19 shutdowns are ripe with examples of government incompetence that directly affect your kids’ lives. When my local park reopened after the initial shutdown, the section with a playground remained closed a few weeks longer. As a result, all the kids squeezed into the little square next to it instead. My 6-year-old could grasp the absurdity of this situation, and I made sure she knew the government was responsible.
2. Find Examples of Socialism in Your Kids’ Lives
Parents should look out for situations in their kids’ lives that resemble socialism and use these as a springboard for discussion. For example, last year, my family attended a “socialist” Easter egg hunt. At the end, all the kids had to hand over the eggs they had found to the organizer, who redistributed an equal number to each.
My daughter had specifically been hunting pink eggs, but in the redistribution she got blue ones. She is too young to understand political theory, but she certainly felt the unfairness. When she’s a bit older, she can connect the dots.
3. Let Lids Feel the Pain of Taxation
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pushes the slogan “Tax the Rich” as if there were some magical money tree that funds government programs. Conservative parents need to teach their kids that taxes come from their own hard-earned money. Socialism doesn’t only work on the rich people’s dollars. In every socialist country, the middle class is heavily taxed.
Each year, I like to snag a few of my kids’ Halloween and Easter candies and call it “tax.” But why not also let kids pay a bit of actual tax? Joy Pullmann suggests, “The dollar store is a great place to explain this basic concept because everything is just one dollar — except it’s not. Everything is one dollar PLUS TAX.”
Parents should tell their kids bring coins or break another dollar to pay the tax themselves. They will quickly realize that taxes are not only for billionaires.
4. Look for Teachable Moments in Books and Shows
Parents should keep an eye out for examples of government overreach and failure in their kids’ books and shows. I recently read my kids the fairy tale “Sleeping Beauty,” and we discussed how the king tried to ban spinning wheels from his kingdom, but it backfired. I explained that central planning doesn’t work.
Many parents read the Bible’s account of the birth of the Lord Jesus to their kids. Perhaps you could briefly point out how a government forced a pregnant woman to travel a long distance to register for tax.
Some parents might object that the Bible should not be used to make a political point. But the left doesn’t have that scruple. Last year, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg tweeted that the Lord Jesus was born “as a refugee.” Conservative parents need to make sure their kids know better.
5. Keep Them out of Government Schools
There is little point in following the four steps listed above if your kids are getting a completely different message in school every day. Public schools are probably the biggest reason so many young people are embracing socialism.
The social atmosphere of leftism is like the air your kids will breathe in public school. You may not want to believe it, but the evidence is quite strong that government education is the leading cause of children losing their faith and replacing it with leftist politics. Conservative parents need to find a schooling arrangement that gives their kids an actual education, not left-wing indoctrination.
By following these five steps, parents can help make sure their children won’t grow up with the delusion that the government will take care of them. They will realize that, while there are problems in the world, socialism can only make things worse.