My daughter was playing after dinner the other night and casually said, “Pá, guess what! Blue and red make purple!”
Queue the proverbial double-take.
(She’s only just turned three, so this was kind of a big deal.)
In her daycare/pre-school program, she’s learning about animals and colors and letters. She’s also learning languages and math and handwriting.
If I walked into her classroom and told the children that the letter A could be whatever letter they wanted, I’d be laughed out of the room. If I told the kids that they could call the color blue “red” if they wanted, I’d be laughed out of the room
Because these are absolutes: A is A; Blue is Blue; 1 is 1; Hola is Hola.
And yet this kind of lunacy is exactly what our children (and subsequently we as parents) are facing today.
Maybe our kids aren’t being taught they can do whatever they want with the alphabet (yet) or make up numbers as they go (oh, I guess there’s Common Core Math…).
But our children are being taught—in the name of tolerance
. If I said that the number 1 could be the number 5 if they wanted, I’d be laughed out of the room. If I said that “hola” (=hello in Spanish) could mean goodbye if they wanted, I’d be laughed out of the room.
and diversity— to accept things that are not true. And bonus: it’s made VERY clear to them that if they don’t accept those things outright, there’s obviously something wrong with them. They’re bigots, homophobes, racists, sexists… and a whole host of other delightful labels.
“Three years after Drag Queen Story Hour’s San Francisco debut, drag performers are reading to kids in bookstores and libraries from New York to Alaska.”
The idea, according to participant and mom Rachel Aimee, is to “expose kids to different kinds of gender presentations … to see beyond the blue and pink gender binary that kids often grow up learning about.”
Except oddly enough, there’s zero acceptance for us fuddy-duddy moms and dads who “intolerantly” teach our children that there are boys, and that there are girls. Like, scientifically. Like, genetically.
And look, I’m not writing this article to convince anyone of the truth.
I’m writing it to the moms and dads just like me, wondering how on earth to raise a child in a world that’ll publicly call you out for using the wrong pronoun (ehem, Khloe Kardashian); a world that’ll shame baby gender reveals as “narcissistic;” a world wherein people actually get up and publicly claim pedophilia is just another orientation; a world that is all too pleased to sit your very young, impressionable child down in front of drag queens and shove sexuality in their faces at the local publicly-funded library.
Parents, this is the world we’re living in. It’s repulsive—and ready to eat us alive for disagreeing with it.
So how do you deal?
I wrote an article a few weeks back about being bold and speaking truth. The point was this: if we stop speaking the truth, eventually no one will.
So the advice is simple: continue to raise your children in truth.
But don’t just tell them what to believe and leave it at that. When the time’s right, give them the tools they need to understand (in this particular case) for themselves biology, genetics—and science in general. Depending on where they go to school, you’re probably going to have to do it on top of what they’re supposedly learning.
Particularly when they’re younger, be a refuge for them when they (like these children in California) come home from school utterly confused and concerned by wildly inappropriate subject matter far beyond their years.
As they get older, help them understand brain development, and the affect that mature subject matter can have on a young mind not ready for it—let alone ready to discern what’s right or wrong with it.
When the time’s right, be frank with them about what they’ll face for holding these principles. Depending on where they go in life, they’ll face ostracizing, bullying, censorship, or worse. Teach them how to be comfortable with their own views despite the peer pressure.
And no matter what phase of childhood they’re in, teach them to be kind, caring and loving to everyone—even towards those with whom they disagree, and especially towards the very people doing the bullying. Teach them to be a shining light. Teach them how to show the world what true tolerance is: that you can hold different views without treating the other person abominably.
It’s not going to be easy, but you’re certainly not the first.
You’ve got this.
Mary Ramirez is a full-time writer, creator of www.afuturefree.com (a political commentary blog), and contributor to The Chris Salcedo Show. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree