Q&A of the Day – How do you teach kids conservative values?
Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods.
Today’s entry: Brian, much to my concern, my 13-year-old son asked me yesterday why Florida’s politicians don’t want to pass Biden’s plan to help people. Upon further questioning I learned the “stimulus” plan was discussed in school and this was my son’s takeaway from the conversation. I know Biden’s stimulus plan is mostly handouts to blue states and am glad we have Senators Rubio & Scott opposing it! This is the first time I’ve encountered this type of issue. Aside from concerns I have regarding what’s happening in the classroom, do you have any advice on how to steer this conservation in a more conservative direction?
Bottom Line: It wasn’t in God’s plan for my wife and I to have kids, so I’ll start by saying my thoughts aren’t personally practiced. In fact, someone asked me recently if I’d been brought up as a conservative from a young age since I started as a talk show host at 21. And the answer is not explicitly. Looking back on it, my parents raised us using conservative values, however I can’t recall a single conservation where there was an overt effort to influence us. As it turned out, in my formative years my parents both from New York, weren’t far removed from identifying as Democrats. They both became Republicans because, as my father tells it, he was a JFK Democrat and the party left him. My point in mentioning is that I think actions often speak louder than words, especially when dealing with potentially rebellious teenagers, as it pertains to the shaping of political perspectives. For example, though we’re vastly different, all four of my siblings are conservatives as well. So, about your situation... Here’s an idea...
The current federal tax rates range from 10% to 37%. Depending on how you choose to carry out this exercise, you can choose from any of the tax tiers to illustrate your point. Once you’ve chosen the tax rate, apply it to all forms of compensation they receive from you. For example, if you give them an allowance, tax it at the chosen rate. If you would typically pay a certain amount for clothes or entertainment, give them only the net amount ex taxes. When they become upset and ask questions, tell them that’s what happens in the real world. That’s what it’s like to pay taxes. Then, to drive home the point, identify someone or some organization they view as being irresponsible and tell them they’re the ones getting the money they were taxed for. And it’s about this time that they’re unlikely to think it’s a great idea to take away their money to give it to irresponsible politicians in Chicago, Detroit and New York. And they’re probably less likely to think it’s a good idea to spend it to harbor those who choose to enter our country illegally.
I prefer approaches that aren’t along the lines of Democrats this and Republicans that kind of stuff. Those types of generalizations are often overly simplistic and play into one’s predispositions. I’ve found it’s best/more persuasive to reach people with information that appeals to their interests rather than typical left/right political argument. That’s been true of adults as well as kids.
So try that and see how it goes. Now if your son thinks it’s a good idea for you to withhold the money to give it to the aforementioned... The political ship is sailing if it hasn’t already sailed. Fingers crossed for you.
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