Kids. Are. Not. Ready. For. Politics.
By: Brian Gallagher
Childhood is a sacred time of innocence, a stage of human development and formation to be protected by parents for as long as humanly possible. We have all heard the phrase, “They grow up so fast,” and it seems every day our children are growing up faster and faster still. It is becoming harder for us parents to protect them. The culture in which our children are coming of age is dominated by smartphones telling them everything they want to hear and showing them everything they want to see. What’s more, their world is charged with politics in every nook and cranny. As a result, our children are growing up much too fast.
Some blame the radical left for indoctrinating our children. I would be remiss to not agree with this statement in principle. Progressive idealists are going after our children—that much is obvious from recent happenings involving Disney, school boards, and Netflix, to name just a few. Media for children has become far worse than “woke”; it’s become poison.
But the difference between me and most of my contemporaries is in discerning an appropriate response. As a publisher, do I fight fire with fire and publish conservative political books for children? To battle a children’s book promoting gender fluidity, do I publish one that explains how that is wrong? To battle a book teaching critical race theory, do I publish a book explaining the dangers of that ideology? Do I tackle these issues head on? Others will, but I will not. After much consideration, I have decided I will not fight fire with fire. I will fight fire with water, because water puts out fires.
Making politically charged books in an effort to counterbalance the left’s agenda only exacerbates the problem. Let’s be clear: Children. Are. Not. Ready. For. Politics. Elementary-aged children are still forming first principles like God exists, and He is good, and what is right and wrong. First principles provide the foundation upon which everything else builds. Politics, then, is a second principle. It is the advanced application of first principles across a society.
"I will fight fire with water, because water puts out fires."
How do you apply Christian charity in a community? How do you balance justice and mercy in a legal system? How do you legislate marriage and rights for people who don’t agree with you? Politics is an important field to introduce to teenagers, but we must not rush to introduce it to children before their foundation is set. If you stack the second story of a building before the first rests on solid ground, you set yourself up for disaster. Any child who has built with blocks for an afternoon knows this to be true.
Political ideals should be introduced slowly, often via literature, in broad brushstrokes as the child grows. Animal Farm is read in middle school and 1984 is read in high school for this reason. If we introduce overly political media to our elementary-aged children, whether it be right-leaning or left-leaning, we run the risk of having politics replace religion as our children’s first principles. Our society is becoming more godless by the day, because politics has become many people’s religion. That’s why they evangelize to us to vote and get vaccinated and march and protest and sign a petition and boycott this company and that company.
Do not let that sentiment steal your child’s attention from what is most important for them at this stage. The key ingredient to a child’s development is time. Let’s prioritize time for our children to develop. Let’s ensure an innocent childhood before we thrust them into the mudslinging match that we call politics. Let’s ensure our children visit Narnia before they are visit the ballot box. Let’s ensure our child’s imagination grows and is not politicized by corporations so that parents can have a chance to have those discussion with the children when they deem appropriate. You can rest assured that Good & True Media will be here as an aid and support for parents as they undergo the most important thing they will ever do – raising children.
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Written by Brian Gallagher