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Family

Time to Grow Up?

Imagine, now, a family with young children.

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Imagine the parents teaching their children to mistrust, even despise, those who are ‘different’ to them – be it in culture, ethnicity or religion. Imagine them coming to believe that these ‘others’ are the sole source of any misery or misfortune they endure.

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Imagine those parents choosing to forego health insurance for their kids and spending the children’s college funds on barbed wire, security cameras and weaponry to threaten, intimidate and even outright assault their neighbours in order to expand the boundaries of their own property.

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Imagine the children, as they try to develop personal responsibility, peer relationships and independence, having the doors to their rooms removed, monitors and cameras installed by the parents, their every interaction overseen and recorded, 24 hours a day.

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Imagine the children’s only knowledge of the outside world were the selected nuggets of information that the parents allowed them to know and that any independent attempt to learn more was met with derision and the labelling of that child as a trouble-maker and ‘problem-child’. In fact all their children have labels and are taught which labels can get along with each other and which can’t. Sometimes the labels also change.

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Imagine one of the children questioning their parents’ actions and/or priorities and asking why they can’t get treatment when they are ill, why they can’t wander the neighbourhood, make friends and learn for themselves how other families live. Or, why they don’t have free access to learning resources to expand their critical faculties to help them become a healthy, intelligent and self-sufficient contributor to the household. Or why they have to surrender half their chore-money each week for ‘household expenses’.

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Imagine the response from the parents being as follows:

We do what we do to keep you safe. We must keep you safe from attack from our ‘different’ neighbours who are envious of the life you kids have. They mistreat their kids, you know. That’s why we need to step in. Then, they resent having their own homes destroyed, their utilities cut off and their children liberated and left to live in the rubble. They are constantly planning revenge for the victories we have won against them and the freedoms we have left behind for their kids.

Those evil neighbours are backward, foreign and dangerous and we need to be armed to the teeth to make our neighbourhood safe. Or do you think you know better than our good friend, Jeremiah, who owns the hardware and ammunition store?

This is why we can’t afford health and dental plans for you. Or a decent college.

That said, we’d be happy to lend you the money for further education but you will need to pay us back. With interest.

Understand, my child, there are dangerous ideas out there and evil, subversive people who will try to make you question our motives, behaviour and rightful authority as parents. They will fill your head with lunatic notions of ‘peace’, ‘co-operation’ and ‘engaging in dialogue’ with those who disagree with you. They’ll also give you strange ideas about the importance of evidence and other new-age, namby-pamby ideas.

So, don’t fall for that crap or you’ll be in a world of trouble, ok?”

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Wouldn’t that be appalling to hear about?

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Wouldn’t you think reports of such abusive, toxic and unfit parents would lead to huge media outrage and cries for intervention and the removal into care of those poor children?

And you would think all the children would leap at the chance of liberation from such tyrannical monsters, too.

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Come on… you would, wouldn’t you?

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