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Not necessarily. What can be learned is that even things you earn can be lost as a consequence of bad behavior or bad decision-making. This is entirely consistent with events that can happen in adult life.

I have thought about this one, and while it can be a result of one's action in the real world, I don't really expect the kids to do something that would require it and there are other more appropriate punishments available. It is something we will or already have explained to them, but I'd rather not do it to them the same as I would rather explain than demonstrate what taxation is all about and what being robbed is like. If something drastic happens, this would probably be an option, it's a work in progress.

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This occured in 1st grade. Basically I attended an elementary school in southern Indiana, which is rife with religiosity. There was at least one kid that I couldn't stand who was constantly haranguing

Btw, I run the website for a Montessori training center owned by some Objectivist friends. Based on my limited knowledge of the Montessori method, I highly recommend it, but they have warned me that many Montessori schools are "Montessori" in name only. They offer a certification parents might want to check for.

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Dr. Montessori did not copyright the name "Montessori" so anyone can use it. AMI schools have to meet more rigorous standards than AMS schools. But ultimately parents judging a school should learn about the method themselves and observe a few classes to see how well the method is followed. This thread has more info: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.php?showtopic=1726

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Just a little something to ponder:

Children who were raised by their Communist parents to believe in Marxist principles are commonly referred to as "red diaper babies." What term should we have for children who were raised by Objectivist parents to believe in individualist and pro-capitalist principles? :)

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What term should we have for children who were raised by Objectivist parents to believe in individualist and pro-capitalist principles? :thumbsup:

I don't think it's right to raise children to "believe in individualist and pro-capitalist principles," unless you mean simply that a child's mind and thinking skill should be cultivated. Explicitly teaching philosophy to one's children amounts to a sort of indoctrination.

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Excellent post Kevin. A child learns everything from observation.

This reminds me of a particular aspect of montessori which I have always found to be charming. For those not familiar with the montessori classroom, there are a number of different "works" designed to teach specific principles. The children are allowed to choose a work and then find a space to do it. Once they finish, they must put it away on it's shelf.

During the time it is out...even if they walk away from it...no other child is allowed to touch the work, unless of course the 'owner' child agrees to it. The way most people teach their children or students to share is to rip an item out of the hands of one child and give it to another, feeding him some altruistic bromide. Montessori's reasoning was that without ownership a child could not learn how to share or work cooperatively with others in any meaningful way. So with this system, "sharing" only happens when the owner child gets something out of it(help, companionship,etc.). An experiential enforcement of the trader principle. Kinda tugs at the capitalist heart-strings, don't it?

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Explicitly teaching philosophy to one's children amounts to a sort of indoctrination.
I think I know what you're getting at, but I think that it's all a matter of age and amount of explicitness. It's only indoctrination (i.e. dogmatic) if the kid is not able to understand what you're saying.
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I skipped over a lot of the posts but I read the first page and most of the third page so... I apologize in advance for the length of this post... I am 15. Both of my parents were Atheists (Well, I’m not really sure what my mom was, she says that she doesn’t know if there was a God in the past, but there isn’t one now. My dad is a true atheist.) and both my parents believed in the teachings of Ayn Rand (My dad more than my mom). They never really talked much about religion or philosophy at all when I was little. I heard children at school talk about God every so often at school and forced myself to believe that the impression I got of God from what they were talking about wasn’t actually believed in by my peers. From heresy I put together that “God” was a giant man who would zap you if you did anything bad or if you didn’t believe in him. It seemed ridiculous and as far as I could tell a fairy tale. My parents never talked about it so I assume it was false. I was a very creative child, so when I heard others talking about this “God” I would make up my own story of what I believed, which usually consisted of goblins and some variation of the evil Goddess Medusa (I was six and knew nothing about Medusa besides that she was an evil goddess who had snake hair and the skin tone of the Statue of Liberty) and they usually believed me. This was still in first grade, I think, when I got fed up with being left out in the dark when it came to “God” and “Jesus” so one day I asked my parents the question “Is God a giant?” knowing that I would know all I needed to know about God just by seeing their reaction, which was: “No, he isn’t. We don’t believe in God,” they said this in laughter, and I was satisfied. I went through a phase of believing in ghosts and my ability to speak to them when I was in fifth grade, but I got over it… I think I was just making it all up because I was bored. I started being home schooled in sixth grade where one of the first things my dad had me do was read “Anthem”. From that point on “Anthem” was my favorite book (And pretty much the only book that I really liked besides Steven King’s “The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon”) until this recent summer when I read “Atlas Shrugged”. I read it because my dad said he thought I was ready to read it. He didn’t “tell” me to read it; he just plopped it down on the couch next to me and said that I was ready to read it. My parents never told me what to believe, they only told me what they believed, and only when I asked, or simply when they thought it necessary. I am now an Atheist and an Objectivist. Nothing else seems logical. All of my friends tell me to think less while they have all of this crap going on in their lives because they don’t think enough. I’m very happy that my parents raised me like they did. I like knowing that I am smarter than most of the kids that surround me and that I chose to be this way without having it forced into my head. At least, as far as I know I’m smarter than they are… when the only people who seem rational are the people who think the same way you think one must assume that you are rational. I babble a lot… tehe… anyway… I’m perfect so if you want your children to turn out well raise them like my parents raised me :thumbsup: just kidding… mostly… I’m going to stop typing now…

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I am 15. .. I’m perfect so if you want your children to turn out well raise them like my parents raised me :sorcerer: just kidding… mostly…
Welcome to the forum, Technetium, glad to make your acquaintance.

I’m going to stop typing now…
Where were you when they taught the lesson about "paragraphs". :thumbsup:
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That’s a bit embarrassing.
Hey! I was just pulling your leg.

You're fortunate to have parents who taught you the importance of rationality and even introduced you to Ayn Rand. BTW, we have a few other members here who're near your age. (If you're interested, there's an "Introductions" sub-forum.)

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And in case that's too far away... I'm sixteen :)

Yes, I'm far too lazy to venture that far. I love your name, by the way, "Cogito", it's awesome. I was thinking of naming my kid that (future kid... way future kid... if there will ever be one...) but I'd fear for there life on the elementary school playground... great username though, like I said.

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I love your name, by the way, "Cogito", it's awesome. I was thinking of naming my kid that (future kid... way future kid... if there will ever be one...) but I'd fear for there life on the elementary school playground... great username though, like I said.

Thanks... It actually came to me as I was signing up for this forum... I'm definitely going to use it for all of my future screen names, and I'm considering vanity plates.

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  • 4 years later...

I'm just jumping in here. I found this site while looking for Objectivism literature for Children online. I am raising 3 boys trying to balance Objectivist philosophy with good old fashioned values. Bu old fashioned, I mean the ones my Grandparents were raised with, work hard at something you love and you will succeed to the extent you work at it.

I've been reading the thread here and I feel I need to comment. While I agree with raising our children to be individuals, it is also our duty as parents to teach self control and discipline. We can't do this if we allow our children they can have whatever they want when they want it, behave they way they want when they want. Even from a very young age, children need to be taught respect for others as well as themselves. I'm not talking altruism here, you can't make it through school or any field of business without it.

"She is almost one year old now. Although we've been spoiling her and treating her like she can do no wrong, I have observed from about the 8th month onward, an increasing attitude from her. She wants to do certain things and when she can't get her way, the wailing begins."

I agree that this is normal for an 8 month old, but when the child gets to be 2, 3, or 4 and has had no discipline until then, you are setting yourself up to be the puppet of your child. They will not respect you if they know they can walk all over you and you will be better off putting them in public school than trying to homeschool a child that will not listen to you. Basic right/wrong, self respect and respect for others can be and should be taught from a very young age.

That being said, your daughter seems like a beautiful, normal baby. They all grow and mature at different rates. I know 2 little boys that are twins, 3 yrs old. One is potty trained, speaks well and is learning his letters. The other has no interest in potty training and is still working on clear speaking. They are both normal. They were born a few minutes apart and are completely different developmentally. It will all work out in the end and the slower boy may grow up to be the more successful. My second son was on the bottle until he was 18 months old. He didn't even get a tooth until 15 months. Just relax and let her find her way with those things and don't worry that saying no is going to somehow cause her to be dependent. She can still be an individual without being spoiled. Kids do wrong, it's part of being a kid. It's our job to teach them the right things without suppressing their innate curiosity and sense of self.

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Hey there...just found this thread whilst digging through the site.

Since Travis (Lathanar) and I have been trying harder to focus on reasoning with our kids, we have noticed a great improvement with how they are figuring stuff out on their own and their behavior. We have 5 kids, from 4 to 15 years old, so we have a lot going on. Previously, we had been giving them, unintentionally of course, a lot of mixed messages of telling them it is okay to be individuals, but at the same time trying to tell them altruism was good and they should be willing to sacrifice things for the greater good at times. "Take one for the team" once in a while, so to speak. Because that is what being a family and being in a society means.

Objectivism isn't magic, and I still don't consider myself an Objectivist, but a student of Objectivism, since I have only been studying since the fall. However, it is amazing how just learning to apply some of basics has such a postive impact.

Here are a few of the things that I think studying Objectivism has helped us with:

- getting our 6 year old to reason on her own that there is no God or Santa

(she also said the following to us recently:

"With math, you can know everything; Math takes away the unkown." I don't think that has anything to do with Objectivism, but she has this whole math thing going....math and objectivism is a logical mix, though.)

- our 10 year old understanding the importance of integrity over popularity

- our 8 year old finally understanding that her "need" for the latest Barbie doesn't necessaitate an obligation on our part

- our 4 year old...ahhh...well, um...still working on that one...although she has started to ask "can I help daddy wash the car for quarters?" when we are at a store more instead of just whining for me to buy everything she sees. At least some of the time.

-15 year old son...he has had a rough year and perhaps has finally getting a hard lesson in JUSTICE. I think we have finally gotten it right. Hopefully this coming school year will be better for all involved.

Anyway, that is where we are now.

This is a great thread, and though I don't have a lot of competent content to add to it, as it is 4 AM and I am brain dead, I wanted to get it closer to the top of the posts. That way, perhaps another parent, or other interested person could find it.

Please keep adding...the more little rational people we put out in the world, the more rational people there will be in the world.

(that is as deep as I get this late/early.)

I just joined tonight....I am raising 3 boys myself. I look forward to hearing more about yours. Mine are 5, 7, and 9. Utter chaos around here but on the whole they are growing up to be great men!

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I haven't given parenting a lot of thought, but with a goal like that and with what you said, it sounds like you're doing good things with your kids. (Not to mention that you like having kids, which I think is absolutely essential. To me it seems as if most people would rather not have their children). I even remember specifically being pissed off like in your example about being required to share with siblings and guests but not getting the same treatment at relatives' and friends' houses. I agree with you that it is more important to teach kids about ownership than about giving gifts.

I would also be interested to know how you deal with your oldest son, at that miserable age of 15. I am the oldest of four boys, and 15-16 (14-17 for me) were what you could call Asshole Years for all of us. Me being the first, my parents had no idea how to deal, and they basically spent two years flipping out. They were more subdued with each subsequent boy, but I think they just ignored the behavior.

I love that you wrote this! I have 3 boys and you are exactly correct. We are much more laid back with our younger children than with the older. The reason is that you didn't come with an owners manual! The first child is like a guinea pig. He/she is the experiment and every time you do something that is totally contrary to what we have taught, we freak out. We love you and want to help you and teach you feel like we have failed. Then, a couple of years later, your brother starts doing the same types of things and we say ok, maybe it's just a boy thing but it's still not ok. Then you get to the 3rd child and you are just tired. You still try to teach the correct morals and principles, but you know by this time it's something they are going to go through no matter what you do. You sit back and let them know you are there.

I know the experiment analogy probably sounds perverse. Making the decision to have a child is a completely selfish one. You are doing it for yourself, no one else. I had all these huge ideas and ideals about the Mother I would be. About 2 weeks after my oldest was born, sleep deprivation and reality set in. I somehow had signed up to raise another PERSON! I wouldn't change any of them for anything but you just cannot understand the view from a parents perspective until you are one.

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I wouldn't change any of them for anything but you just cannot understand the view from a parents perspective until you are one.

That said, I feel like I have parented vicariously through my own parents over the years. I have every point of view except the perspective of myself at a very young age: I've experienced childhood stages myself, then I've observed similar experiences go through four more kids. I have had various levels of authority over my siblings, I've given advice and consoled (though differently than my parents), I've even changed diapers and cooked meals... often. My experience is essentially watered-down parenting.

You are in for a TRIP. Wait until you've got three teenagers at the same time, and you will wish you had three toddlers at the same time. For the food bill alone. Ha!

Also, judging from your apparent attitude toward parenting, your kids are lucky. A lot of adults have to get over parent/child issues stemming from various kinds of neglect before they can move on with their lives. I never had that, which only became obvious to me when I started complaining to my dad about how other people complain about their parents! He didn't have the "ideal" upbringing, so he pointed out how most parents are not really interested in their kids' lives, much less after they have grown. My parents still obviously love their kids, even after all five have become adults.

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That said, I feel like I have parented vicariously through my own parents over the years. I have every point of view except the perspective of myself at a very young age: I've experienced childhood stages myself, then I've observed similar experiences go through four more kids. I have had various levels of authority over my siblings, I've given advice and consoled (though differently than my parents), I've even changed diapers and cooked meals... often. My experience is essentially watered-down parenting.

You are in for a TRIP. Wait until you've got three teenagers at the same time, and you will wish you had three toddlers at the same time. For the food bill alone. Ha!

Also, judging from your apparent attitude toward parenting, your kids are lucky. A lot of adults have to get over parent/child issues stemming from various kinds of neglect before they can move on with their lives. I never had that, which only became obvious to me when I started complaining to my dad about how other people complain about their parents! He didn't have the "ideal" upbringing, so he pointed out how most parents are not really interested in their kids' lives, much less after they have grown. My parents still obviously love their kids, even after all five have become adults.

What a wonderful post. Your parents should be proud. I hope I do as well. My boys are 9,7, and 5 right now. I am actually looking forward to the teenage years. While every day is it's own definition of chaos, it is also always educational and fun for me! I hope when mine are grown they feel for me how you feel for your parents!

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I hope when mine are grown they feel for me how you feel for your parents!

:) Like my dad says, "You don't invest all those years until they are 15 for nothing, only to have them hate you... it's just a short bump in the road. They'll get over it." Sure enough, that's what happened. Although the last one, at 18, is still going through the very end of that bump. But, she's a girl with four older brothers, of course it's different for her. :)
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I'm just jumping in here. I found this site while looking for Objectivism literature for Children online. I am raising 3 boys trying to balance Objectivist philosophy with good old fashioned values. Bu old fashioned, I mean the ones my Grandparents were raised with, work hard at something you love and you will succeed to the extent you work at it.

You might be interested in the OGrownups mailing list, if you're looking for other Objectivist parents discussing parenting issues and resources.

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