There is a WND columnist named Dennis Prager whose writing is, I believe, outstanding. Last week and this week, he wrote a two-part column that absolutely nails why conservative parents often end up with adult children who are progressive, and who reject all the values with which they were raised.
The first column is entitled Conservative Parents, Left-Wing Children.
The follow-up column is entitled If You Want a Conservative Child.
Some quotes to highlight:
• "As a father, my purpose is not to pass on my seed, but to pass on my values." [Pride in our children comes not just with achievement, but with character. As Dr. Laura once said, the world is full of smart kids. What we need are more good kids.]
• "But the village – i.e., American society – has radically changed... Virtually every institution outside the home has been captured by people with left-wing values: specifically the media (television and movies) and the schools (first the universities and now high schools)." [Which is why I'm SO thankful we have no television reception and have homeschooled our girls.]
• "[I]t is best that your child not go to college immediately after high school. One reason colleges are able to indoctrinate students is that students enter college young and unworldly. It is very rare that adult students are convinced to abandon their values and become left-wing. Why? Because they have lived life and are much less naive. For example, someone with life experience is far more likely than a kid just out of high school to understand that the best formula for avoiding poverty is to take personal responsibility – get a job, get married and then have children – not government help.
• "Teenagers who spend a year before going to college working – in a restaurant, for a moving company, at an office – will mature far more than they would after a year at college. And maturity is an inoculation against leftism." [The inference -- that progressive values are a sign of immaturity -- is a whole different subject.]
• "The more your child knows, lives and adheres to the principles of [Judeo-Christian religions], the less likely he or she will convert to leftism, which has been the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years. For example, it is a fundamental belief of each of these Judeo-Christian religions that the root of evil is within the evildoer. But it is a fundamental belief of leftism that people murder, steal and rape overwhelmingly because of outside influences such as poverty and racism. The moment your child understands that people who commit evil are responsible -- not poverty or racism -– they cannot be a leftist."
• "[D]on’t be preoccupied with instilling high self-esteem in your child. It is the left that believes that self-esteem is a child’s right, something that parents and society owe children. Conservatives believe that everyone, including children, must earn self-esteem. Indeed, the belief in earning –- rather than in being given –- is conservative."
• "It is not all that hard to produce a son or daughter able to withstand left-wing indoctrination. You just have to understand that it doesn’t happen automatically."
A recent email I received accused me of being full of pride. He's correct in one regard: I am very very proud of our girls. They are carrying on the conservative values Don and I hold dear.