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Barb Wire

How to Teach Kids ‘Independence’–Not!


Do you ever get the impression that our society is utterly, totally clueless?

Observe this commercial for an “icon-based watch that kids can read.” Unless you are an ancient Egyptian using hieroglyphics, that is not quite what we mean by reading.

The watch supposedly “teaches kids good habits” and “fosters independence, responsibility, and self-esteem.” Children will demonstrate their independence by doing what the watch tells them to do. As for self-esteem, there’s already more than enough of it floating around out there. Maybe the watch can somehow create a “safe space” where they’ll never see or hear anything they don’t want to see or hear.

Such good habits as I have, my parents taught me, with help from grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We called this “family.” Hopelessly old-fashioned, eh? Eventually the wise men of this fallen world will find a way to replace the family altogether.

I’d like to get off this ride now, please.


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