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How much control should a parent assert over their child? Should the kid’s wants and desires always win out?
Writing on the Institute for Family Studies website, Dr. Leonard Sax told the mind-boggling story of a mother bringing her child into his medical practice and then saying “her body, her choice” when the child refused to let the doctor examine her throat.
Sax writes, “For the first time, I am seeing a political dimension to parenting. It is now much less common to find left-of-center parents who are both strict and loving. Loving, yes, but not strict. I’m seeing a growing number of parents like the mom I just described—parents who truly believe that it’s virtuous to let the kid be in charge, even when the kid is a six 6-year-old with a fever who is refusing to let the doctor look at her throat.”
This is the natural progression from the idea that children should be the leaders in parenting, as opposed to the followers.
In recent years, the idea that kids shouldn’t be made to hug their family members became a popular one in parenting circles. In 2017, Parenting magazine featured a piece called “Reluctant Hugs: Why You Shouldn’t Force Kids to Show Physical Affection” saying kids could offer a wave or a handshake instead.
As I wrote at the time, “But if bodily autonomy is the concern, how are these any better? What if the kid doesn’t want to offer a handshake or a high-five or any interaction whatsoever? What if they don’t want to look up at all from the video game they’re playing? They’re autonomous, aren’t they? Must they acknowledge a guest’s presence at all? It’s practically assault to force them into making eye contact if they don’t feel like it, isn’t it? Their body, their choice.”
It felt even then that don’t-have-to-hug-grandma was going to turn into something else and, of course, in recent years we’ve seen the conversation move to whether a child can choose to transition to another gender and what the parents’ role is in that.
This political dimension happening in parenting is there because the left forces a political dimension to absolutely everything. Corporations, institutions, government agencies were all ideologically captured over the past decade. That ideological capture is aimed at children now. It’s why the battle over ideology in schools has become so prevalent. The left is openly trying to indoctrinate children and there’s evidence, like the parent in Dr. Sax’s office, that many of the parents have been captured already.
Convincing parents that they don’t have control over their own kids, that the child’s body autonomy outweighs everything, is a way of separating the family unit. A family in disarray is much easier to control. This isn’t a conspiracy theory. It’s exactly what totalitarian societies of the past have done so that they gain control of the population. It’s not new. It’s just happening in America for the first time.
Children need direction from their parents and they need to be told what to do. Surrendering control to a child’s whims opens the door for other influences to take a parent’s place. Raising resilient children begins with a confident parent doing what’s best for their child. You’re the parent, act like it.