How To Teach Your Children - Real Life Civics Lessons You Can Do In Your Own Home

Because I write a lot about politics, friends are forever asking me the best way to teach children how our system of government works. I tell them that they can give their own children a basic civics course right in their own homes.

In my own experience as a father, I have discovered several simple devices that can illustrate to a child's mind the principles on which the modern state deals with its citizens. You may find them helpful, too.

For example, I used to play the simple card game WAR with my son. After a while, when he thoroughly understood that the higher ranking cards beat the lower ranking ones, I created a new game I called GOVERNMENT. In this game, I was Government, and I won every trick, regardless of who had the better card. My boy soon lost interest in my new game, but I like to think it taught him a valuable lesson for later in life.

When your child is a little older, you can teach him about our tax system in a way that is easy to grasp. Offer him, say, $10 to mow the lawn. When he has mowed it and asks to be paid, withhold $5 and explain that this is income tax. Give $1 to his younger brother, and tell him that this is "fair." Also, explain that you need the other $4 yourself to cover the administrative costs of dividing the money. When he cries, tell him he is being "selfish" and "greedy." Later in life he will thank you.

Make as many rules as possible. Leave the reasons for them obscure. Enforce them arbitrarily. Accuse your child of breaking rules you have never told him about. Keep him anxious that he may be violating commands you haven't yet issued. Instill in him the feeling that rules are utterly irrational. This will prepare him for living under democratic government.

When your child has matured sufficiently to understand how the judicial system works, set a bedtime for him and then send him to bed an hour early. When he tearfully accuses you of breaking the rules, explain that you made the rules and you can interpret them in any way that seems appropriate to you, according to changing conditions. This will prepare him for the Supreme Court's concept of the U.S. Constitution as a "living document."

Promise often to take him to the movies or the zoo, and then, at the appointed hour, recline in an easy chair with a newspaper and tell him you have changed your plans. When he screams, "But you promised!," explain to him that it was a campaign promise.

Every now and then, without warning, slap your child. Then explain that this is defense. Tell him that you must be vigilant at all times to stop any potential enemy before he gets big enough to hurt you. This, too, your child will appreciate, not right at that moment, maybe, but later in life.

At times your child will naturally express discontent with your methods. He may even give voice to a petulant wish that he lived with another family. To forestall and minimize this reaction, tell him how lucky he is to be with you the most loving and indulgent parent in the world, and recount lurid stories of the cruelties of other parents. This will make him loyal to you and, later, receptive to schoolroom claims that the America of the postmodern welfare state is still the best and freest country on Earth.

This brings me to the most important child-rearing technique of all: lying. Lie to your child constantly. Teach him that words mean nothing – or rather that the meanings of words are continually "evolving," and may be tomorrow the opposite of what they are today.

Some readers may object that this is a poor way to raise a child. A few may even call it child abuse. But that's the whole point: Child abuse is the best preparation for adult life under our form of GOVERNMENT.
kar120c kar120c
6 Responses Oct 6, 2010

wow....the last line really speaks loud !!! I said and warned my surrounding so many times about the change of the words and their meaning!! Here you are found a solution to that one,hmmm,i have to say,i rather try to stop the institution who tells me to do wrong and pay for their wrong doing then training my child to be a cheat and liar!! ...this is not against you by any means,i am totally aware of a form of reversed psychology but think its gonna end up in a mess later,rather stick with truth and values given to us by this planet!!

LMAO - you do have some valid points. However, just the fact that you get some reactions thinking you really do treat your son that way, proves that there is a reason government is the way it is. Government is a by-product of society and THIS is our society. LOL...funny post.

Just so you know... this story is tongue in cheek. I never really did that to my son, but I did educate him in other ways. It wasn't too easy at first deprogramming him form the public school, but once I reached the tipping point he pretty much deprogrammed himself

I'm totally in agree with you and what you do to raise your child. <br />
I do mostly all the things you say in your post except for lying to my sons. But I do tell them not to trust in other people words. <br />
You are right about the children's loyalty, I was a single mother until my first son turned 4, now my new partner and I use all this methods to raise him and my new son, he used to say he wanted to go live with his dad, and I made him realize that his dad and new wife and child don't have any interest to have him around. It might sound cruel, but I always tell my son the truth that's why I know that above everything he'll never leave me and the most important thing is that he will be strong enough to defend himself from anything in life.

I just have to tell you how I almost busted a gut laughing , you can be a riot ! "slap him in the face and them explain nothing is so crule it borders on being funny . I beleive my chrildren don't pick up on ...meaning to well, I was married at 13 and had a child a year later . i I was a child however my saving grace was my looks as well as the fact I was a beautiful dancer and singer this certainly helped me stay strong every. heart aches i had was to build my streangth and teach with discipline ......I'm so puzzeled as to how this way of teaching can be seen as insane to som. I see it working , My grandson and I always tell one another the truth.. yet I understand completely your phycology of how you raise a child , with these lessons in place . Enough of me rambling..

I already am your father in the story , he lacks compassion and even makes himself socially excepted. Can't he show a tear for the little ones and really,.............I have to admit that I too have run my children through a meat grinder and all for the sake of making them stronger. I beleive God's in the Heavens and in this house, and yeah , we do ahve to teach them independence...John Waynn gave me a portion of himself when I met him, He wrote " Be Happy, Be STRONG! love ya , for sharing a part of yourself, your a man with your own unigue character in life. I do thingk above all you have the courage of a Lion, but always stay as you are , it's so refreshing to hear your threads, stories and comments , it could be a little frightening to most folks , your idea, although I see now your character is impecably beautiful .but what the use of all things when a man cannot look himself in a mirror, this brain of yours is working well, but for whom? You have no mentioned of God or Jesus Christ?Is it the Church and State seperation thingee? Go on please and write more , I for one will read it all. Thank you Kar and press on..........sofi