Parenting and education have the same goal: To prepare children to be successful, well-adjusted individuals in a complex world.
Of course, exactly how children are prepared for life is where a conflict between liberals and conservatives often occurs. What one parent sees as vital knowledge may be dismissed or even openly mocked by someone with different views… or a specific agenda.
Recently, a British newspaper published a list of “basic life skills” that fathers needed to teach their children. As PJ Media contributor Susan L.M. Goldberg pointed out, however, that summary ended up being more of a list of nostalgic pastimes than a serious preparation for life.
“I know it’s British, but ‘playing Pooh sticks’ isn’t exactly what I’d dub a ‘basic life skill’ in the twenty-first century,” Goldberg explained.
“There is, however, a point to be made about what parents aren’t teaching their children any longer,” she continued. “If I were to make a list of the skills parents no longer pass down to their children I certainly wouldn’t waste my time on Pooh sticks.”
Neither would we. Taking a cue from Susan Goldberg’s suggestions, here are seven important skills that liberals often try to dismiss, along with a few thoughts about why the left dislikes each one.
“I want our kids to value the time they’ve been given and know how to use it wisely,” wrote Goldberg. Indeed, anyone who works with young millennials knows that simply showing up to work on time is becoming exceedingly rare.
Why? Well, one reason liberal educators might shy away from teaching time management is because it goes hand-in-hand with responsibility and self ownership.
Once a child or teenager learns that they have significant control over how their time is spent, they also realize that they can’t blame others for how they choose to invest it. This flies in the face of a liberal movement that increasingly tries to blame “privilege” for positive results, instead of crediting time spent studying and practicing.
Basic Outdoor Skills
“I’m big on the fun of compasses, pocket knives, and how to read physical maps without the assistance of a computerized voice,” stated Goldberg. This of course teaches self reliance, and an understanding that a massive government isn’t actually required for rugged individuals to survive — and even thrive.
At the same time, spending time in the wilderness tends to destroy the narrative that mankind is the enemy of the environment… and nothing reverses the Disney-esque “all animals are peaceful and loving” cliche quite like seeing a hungry brown bear turn a deer into dinner.
As with time management, learning how to manage money and save or invest it is absolutely vital for developing independence, yet rarely taught to kids anymore.
“Most ‘financial advisors’ are liberal arts graduates with no finance background who needed a job out of college and practiced with their parents’ and grandparents’ money,” chastised Goldberg. Understanding money and math also helps young people realize how much of it is squandered by government — so it’s no surprise the left is OK with financial illiteracy.
During the recent shooting at YouTube headquarters, a 37-year-old tech employee recalled coming across an injured co-worker, but simply stared at him in shock instead of rushing to help. This panicked adult then fled the scene with his skateboard like some sort of child.
Everyone responds differently to stress, but it’s safe to say that basic medical knowledge and a trauma kit, instead of a skateboard, would have been far more useful in that situation. It takes only a weekend to receive instruction in CPR, first aid, and life-saving trauma gear that anybody can use.
This also teaches self reliance — are you noticing a theme? — and introduces young people to the idea that doctors aren’t magical oracles of secret knowledge.
“Doctors spend on average seven minutes per patient. Mistakes are made. Lives are lost,” explained Goldberg. “You don’t need an MD to be your best care provider.” That doesn’t mean you should do your own surgery, but personal research and being ones own medical advocate are increasingly important.
Speaking of personal research, the skills and experience necessary to find accurate information often go untaught to today’s youth. The younger generation may not remember life before Google, but understanding what makes a source credible or suspect is vital.
“Our kids will know what a primary source is and will not rely on Alexa, Siri, or Wikipedia to answer a question,” wrote Goldberg. The left often dislikes self-educated researchers because they would rather have academic elitists seen as untouchable experts, but knowledge is available to everyone.
Closely connected to that concept is the increasingly rare skill of critical thinking. The ability to think for yourself, to analyze an idea and find its merits and flaws, is vital in many areas of life.
“Today children are being taught more about what to think than how to approach any subject with a critical eye. Parents are now responsible for teaching their children how to analyze knowledge, brainstorm potential solutions, and synthesize experiences in order to reach effective conclusions,” Goldberg pointed out.
Reverence for God
Finally, one of the most important “skills” that needs to be taught is reverence for God. This is obvious if you, like many conservatives, are Christian, but equally important even if you aren’t particularly religious.
A healthy level of humbleness and an understanding that there may be more to our existence than man and his folly is crucial.
This teaches young people that government and human-based ideologies like Marxism are not the ultimate authorities, but that there are laws of the universe which cannot be broken.
Jefferson called this “nature’s God” in the Declaration of Independence… but no matter which term you use, recognizing the source of morality and good is vital.
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