The rain is pounding against my roof right now. The thunder is rolling. It is the perfect environment to think. Have you ever thought about how water is the source of life? Without water we on Earth could not exist! It brings life and all the joys of life. The fresh smell after a summer rain. The sound of a babbling brook. But water also has a nasty side. It can bring death and destruction. It can flood, drown, and never return. Parenting is much the same way. As parents we have the opportunity to bring new life. With this new life we can illuminate more beauties in this world or we can destroy it. One way we can show our children beauty is showing our children how to love liberty. A lot of parenting styles are about crushing liberty and creativity. The Liberty Movement needs to realize that we will fail if we do not pass our passion to the next generation.

When a parent looks at their child they should be joyful. Children should bring us a sense of fulfillment. We have the next generations in our arms. They are coming to us when they are sprightful, frightful, and forgetful. When a child looks at their parent from the past, present or future, they should see a person who loves and cares for them. So many children have an understanding that they are a nuisance to their parents. They are a misfortune. These children have little respect for their parents and their views; furthermore they have even less respect for their fellow man’s views. A liberty-minded child will respect all people’s view. They will understand that diversity among people is inevitable and good. Diversity brings out all the colors of humanity and allows the best ideas to be heard and championed.

There was a relatively recent study done on divergent thinking called “Breakpoint and Beyond”. Divergent thinking is being able to come up with many solutions to a problem. On this longitudinal study of 1,600 people 98% of kindergarteners scored at genius levels of divergent thinking. By the time they became adults only 2% of people scored on the genius level. What happened? Well one answer is standardized education of conformity, but the more important answer is the lack of choice in a child’s life. Parents have the opportunity to allow children the freedom to make choices in the safety of a loving environment. So many parents are saying, “Because I said so!”, as if that is an answer we should teach our children to accept. We should be fostering a child to demand choices and not to accept the status quo.

With choices comes responsibility. In our culture we have demonized the wonderful word of responsibility. It has the connotation of slavery, when in fact it means freedom. Responsibility means that we have choice and with that choice we can reap our consequences. When a child makes a brave decision to take his money, that he has earned from mowing the grass and invest it into a lemonade stand. The child should learn that this decision to invest has consequences. S/he might lose money or make money, but these are the consequences. Of course there are other consequences that are much less fun to deal with.

For example, let us take a second review the common use of spanking a child. (I understand that I might have just lost some folks, but hang in there). This common practice teaches a child that when they do not like a behavior or action they are allowed to hit another person. For a group that promotes that “force should only be used in self-defense” we should not foster this ancient practice. One could say that we are showing a child that the authority figure has the right to do this, but they cannot do this with their peers. How much worst is this? Statism at its core! The State is allowed to use force if they do not like what the subservient people are doing. What an awful thing for a liberty-loving parent to teach their child. This is not to say that there should not be consequences, but ones based in reason and not in force.

One common phrase that we have all grown up hearing is, “Share with others!” This expression has been cultivated in the public school, where children have to share everything, because no one owns anything. Some schools have even banned children from bringing their own toys, because it removes the control a teacher has on sharing that delightful toy. We should teach our children to trade. If your child ever interacts with another child the following scenario is guaranteed to occur. One child is playing contently with their toy and another child wants to play with it. This usually results in tears, pushing, shoving and the phrase, “You have to share”. But why do we teach our children this? Why not teach our children to trade. Both children have plenty of toys and could easily trade making both parties tear and bruises free. This is not to say that sharing does not have its moral virtue, but it should not be used because someone is making a ruckus about what we own. Sharing should be done when it is a voluntary choice, because as the liberty-loving crowd knows, “Forced charity is theft”.

In conclusion, parents, soon to be parents and maybe in the far far future parents, it is important that we raise our children in a liberty-loving environment. Our children should understand the benefits of living in a free society. They should know after growing up in our household that we do not need a nanny-state to live in a wonderfully productive society. These children may never know or understand the meaning of liberty if we do not invest our time, logic, and experiences into them. Everything that has been articulated so far is moot if these ideas are not discussed in the household. To hope that one day our children will stumble upon liberty is a dangerous philosophy. Statist have created the perfect environment that fosters mindless drones by creating pledges, songs, and endless lectures of skewed history. We, the liberty-loving people, have a lot of ground to cover so get out there and parent!