Last Tuesday morning, a male substitute teacher, wearing what were likely prosthetic breasts under his dress, walked into my son’s 5th-grade classroom. My son immediately walked out.
My son located the principal and explained that his parents wouldn’t want him to stay in class because the substitute “was a man, dressed as a woman with fake boobs and everything.” He was right. I immediately collected him and, the very next evening, dressed down the school board at their conveniently timed meeting.
Because we live in a deep blue city, my husband and I have been very purposeful about arming our three children with information to immunize them from the ever-present woke virus. That means my son is more informed than I’d prefer on the difference between gender dysphoria and autogynephilia.
Because he’s a 10-year-old boy, he was unable to give me a blow-by-blow of what exactly transpired that morning, but he was clear about two things — his parents are the ultimate authority on educational matters, and men can’t become women.
That kind of clarity doesn’t happen by accident. It must be deliberately constructed over the course of a child’s development. In this culture, which is hell-bent on victimizing children, it’s something that every parent needs to take seriously. That’s what I cover with my co-author Katy Faust in our new book, Raising Conservative Kids in a Woke City.
The woke will find your kids no matter where they are. Maybe the assault doesn’t come in the form of a potentially perverted, autogynephilic substitute teacher. Perhaps it will be more subtle and creep in quietly as a transgender beaver with double mastectomy scars in the previously safe kids’ television program “Blue’s Clues.”
Or it sneaks its way in via the book bag of a new babysitter who fancies herself a social justice warrior, and her chosen bedtime stories are Feminist Baby and What’s an Abortion, Anyway? Or maybe you mistakenly sent them to a woke band camp and the icebreaker is a “privilege walk.” Whether your children are homeschooled, enrolled in a private school, or attending public schools, they will eventually encounter the woke, and, unless you equip your children to wage this intellectual war, they will be devoured.
We’ve raised our kids in arguably one of the most hostile fronts of the culture war, Seattle, and our book outlines age-appropriate parenting strategies that have allowed us to inculcate our values in our children, even when everything is against us.
Different Parenting Stages
The reason my child was capable of turning tail and leaving that classroom is because he has been taught economic, biological, and historical truth throughout his elementary years. The aim during that first phase of worldview training is to filter out distortions and fill his mind with facts, truth, and beauty about the critical and complementary differences between men and women, the importance of family, and the dangers of the state. He doesn’t know everything, but he’s had enough of an education on the glorious and immutable male/female distinctions to spot the lie when he walked into his classroom.
If you’ve got middle schoolers, you’re engaged in a different Raising Conservative Kids parenting stage. In this phase you aren’t filtering out distortions, you’re helping them to construct their own filter.
You do that by studying woke distortions with them, such as critical race theory, the 1619 Project and its obnoxious historical lies, the harms of chemical and surgical abortions, the pitfalls of modern families, and the atrocities of socialist “utopias.” Your knee-jerk response might be to believe your middle schooler is too young for such high-level discussions, but if someone is talking to them about these topics and how to view them, that somebody needs to be you.
If you’re winning at this parenting gig, by the time your kids enter high school you have graduated from helping them build their middle school filter, to being their consultant — always ready to send sources when they’re in the midst of a pro-life discussion, pray for them when they are about to give a presentation on Second Amendment rights, and laugh at the rest of woke garbage they encounter at school and online and in media. The aim during this phase is to stay connected to your almost-adults. While they (hopefully) no longer need you to do their laundry, pack their lunches, or wipe their noses, in high school, they need you emotionally as much ever.
If you follow our Raising Conservative Kids prescription, your high schoolers will have had years of a slow worldview handoff and be well-versed in the importance of attacking ideas, not people. They have found their people, and they know that you can handle and help with anything they bring to you.
With investment, protection, and age-appropriate exposure to the lies our culture is steeped in, it is possible, even living in the darkest blue city, to raise conservative kids. Kids who know to turn tail and protect themselves from sexual deviants at the tender age of 10, because they’ve been taught truth in this world of lies.