5 Nov 2015

“But Why Can’t We Do Those Things….” Dissident Dad

"I thought we were free to choose, Dad. Why can’t we do those things? Also, Mom is forcing me to read. Please talk to her about not forcing people to do things"
— The Dissident Dad’s Son
The Dissident Dad:  Oh, the irony. All I want to do is be the freedom dad. To raise a family that is a beacon for liberty, grounded on principles of non-aggression, cooperation, and respecting individual sovereignty.
But the truth is, what I face as a parent day in and day out is extremely difficult. It’s not just the statists and their incessant propaganda, it’s also the dereliction of duty by many modern-day parents.

The sad fact of the matter is that 5-year-olds spend 30+ hours per week on iPads and watching television. As a father of young children, I’ve met too many parents who think nothing of it, and who also see no problem with their 3-year-old watching The Walking Dead with them. I really wish I was lying or joking, but in my small little town of 50,000, my older kids (5 and 4) have interacted with children who frequently watch shows that clearly should be seen as adult entertainment.

I personally love The Walking Dead, but it boasts at least 10 stabbings to someone’s brain per show, a dozen killings by gun fire, and highlights hordes of creepy zombies consuming people like rabid animals.
My family loves to dance, so we often pick out a song on YouTube and have a family dance party. The other day, my 5-year-old son asked me to play a song that he didn’t know the name of, but he said he could describe. He said it was a song about “giving it to a girl.” I asked him where he heard it, and he said a friend’s house, where the other child is also 5! He said it was the other kid’s favorite song… WTF! When I finally figured out the song he was speaking of, I realized this song even talks about one of the female singers liking it a little rough.
And don’t even get me started on the soda thing and non-stop treats given freely to children by other adults.
Sure, I could tell my children that kids watching The Walking Dead, listening to sex-themed songs, and living off of treats and soda is from irresponsible, idiotic parenting, but I’d risk offending almost ALL millennial parents, and seeing how I am a millennial, it’s best not to piss everyone off when I’m trying my best to be nice.
So when it comes to the following questions, here are my “nice, libertarian dad” answers.
Dad, why can’t I watch the zombie show? The other kids are drinking soda, why can’t I? What’s wrong with my friend’s music? Why is Mom forcing me to read? Isn’t that a form of tyranny?
I answer them the same way any good parent would. I explain to them that I am not the state, but that we are family. As a family, there are some things that we just don’t do, like harm our bodies with sugar overloads, or watch things that will give us nightmares – at least as little kids.
The question about his mother forcing him to read was actually a real pleasure to hear, and an easier one to answer. It is in this regard that homeschooling has a huge advantage in teaching kids. For example, my wife started the “school” year off by asking my son what he wanted to learn about. So although he is being “forced to read,” we did our best to make sure it’s in line with his interests, thus making learning more fun and a bit more collaborative and voluntary.
Sincerely, the “not-so-freedom dad”, at least according to my kids sometimes.
 
– Daniel Ameduri aka The Dissident Dad

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