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I might be a brand new dad, but I’m no stranger to the concept of raising children. As the eldest of five brothers and sisters, I know something about kids.
One thing I do know beyond a shadow of a doubt is that they’re complete and total idiots.
I don’t say that to be mean or edgy. I mean this as a natural statement of fact. When you first arrive in this world you have nothing but your instincts. You’re literally seeing everything for the first time. You don’t know what a spoon is or what it’s for. You’ve never interacted with the common dog. You might recognize voices but you’ve never been able to put a face to them, and wrapping your head around the concept of faces takes some time to understand, too.
You start at square zero, and you accumulate knowledge about the world around you from that starting point.
It’s around this knowledge that you begin to form the basis for your personality. Over the course of years, you will develop an understanding of basic things like shapes, numbers, and colors. More complicated concepts will come your way that take time and experience to suss out an understanding over, but even then, that can take years. There are adults that still haven’t completely understood the concept of nuance, and a lot of those people are in my mentions on Twitter.
The point I’m making is that children don’t understand the world, and they certainly can’t contemplate their place in it.
So, when I hear someone like Minnesota Lt. Governor Peggy Flanagan say, “When our children tell us who they are, it is our job as grown-ups to listen and to believe them. That’s what it means to be a good parent,” I can only assume she herself is either an idiot, inexperienced with children, corrupt to the point of willingly putting children in harm’s way, or all three.
How many boys told their parents they were a dinosaur or a superhero? How many girls told their parents they were a pony or a butterfly?
Young children understand their own identities as well as they understand calculus. If your son comes up to you and declares he’s actually a girl, the last thing any sane person would do is believe them. Sadly, the first thing too many people do nowadays is begin the process of making their young child’s claim a reality.
Even as a teenager, claims of transgenderism or gender fluidity are usually born from a desire to stand out while fitting in. The need to be dynamic and discover one’s identity is a powerful draw and for a teenager, the pull is so strong as to be destructive.
In the life of the teenager and the child, the parent is tasked with guiding their offspring through what is a very corrosive world with people and things around every corner that could lead them into a life they wouldn’t choose for themselves, if they were armed with just a little bit more experience and wisdom.
In the absence of this experience and wisdom, the parent must fill in the gap with theirs. This is why Flanagan’s words aren’t just foolish, they’re dangerous. What she and those who agree with her are saying is that your child’s inexperience and ignorance should supersede your much vaster knowledge of people, slippery slopes, pain, mistakes, joy, wisdom, and experiences you’ve collected on your decades-long life’s journey.
Without a parent’s guidance, children would be unhealthy due to the over-consumption of sugar, spending every waking moment in front of a screen, and treating everyone around them as a means to a very selfish end. Understanding this, the idea that a child should be able to have their parents act on changing their identity on demand is ludicrous, and anyone putting that idea forward should immediately be suspect.
If there’s one thing we all know, it’s that children are highly susceptible to suggestion, and all it takes is one trusted adult to teach them something destructive that could have them under the thumb of certain groups for the rest of their lives.
And whoever wants control of your children is automatically your enemy.