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When is appropriate to teach children about conspiracy theories?

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posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:20 AM
Skepticism I would say does not come naturally, to most.
I know I learned it unintentionally from my father who played jokes on us and made up stories to get us to do stuff.

Children are impressed daily with information from potentily conflicting sources, teachers, parents, friends, media, and religion. A child's experience will shape his or her beliefs, drawing out those beliefs is the challenge.

I'm courious to hear how you became a skeptic.
If you have kids what you have done or plan on doing to counter the influences of mainstream education, media sceience religion? (pick one)
How does the presentation of our beliefs affect our kids?

Can we damage our kids by destroying their beliefs, like Santa clause, the truth about the pagan celebration of holidays (just examples), or if they tangle in unfair debate against a teacher who has more knowledge than them, or other kids who just call them crazy?

Is it responsibe to present all the arguments of a conspiracy such as the lunar landing, then allow them to make their own judgement?

I welcome your comments even if you don't have kids.

Thank you for you replies.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:21 AM
As soon as they bring a History book home, from school.

edit on 19-9-2012 by sonnny1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:28 AM
I think most of the time you find stuff out as you go along, that's the fun of it....

My father was always having a laugh at me for years...

Growing up my dad told me that he was from a travelling gipsy family and he used to perform in the circus as a tight rope walker, strong man and a juggler in the 1940' and 50's, but all he was really was a strong man who used to work in a tyre yard.....

Makes me laugh though when I think back on it........

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:29 AM
I learned from my Father when i was only four or five he used to tell me that one day the goverment would try to disarm the public....He told me Union history and the depression history....and warned me about the totalitarian path the goverments were taking in future......I was born in 46! my dad was working in the coal mines at 9 years old.....driving ponies...
He had no education but what he taught himself.....
I am amazed at the foresight he had at this end of my life .......

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:43 AM

Originally posted by stirling
I learned from my Father when i was only four or five he used to tell me that one day the goverment would try to disarm the public....He told me Union history and the depression history....and warned me about the totalitarian path the goverments were taking in future......I was born in 46! my dad was working in the coal mines at 9 years old.....driving ponies...
He had no education but what he taught himself.....
I am amazed at the foresight he had at this end of my life .......

I love it, sounds like a wise man, nothing like the retelling of real history.

My dad would drag me to work on the weekends, I learned a lot from those old retired PG&E workers, they along with my father wouldent let me lean on the counters or sit, I was always working. I learned work ethic that's for sure.

Would you say that life experiance trumps anything found in a book?

Speaking of work ethic, it's late where I'm at, so I will pick up on you comments tomorrow.
edit on 19-9-2012 by Observationalist because: Adding text

edit on 19-9-2012 by Observationalist because: (no reason given)

edit on 19-9-2012 by Observationalist because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:44 AM
Children learn to lie at the wee age of 6mos to their parents.

While teaching a youngin about JFK wouldn't be appropriate, teaching them to look for liars and cheats should start while in diapers.


posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:44 AM
reply to post by Observationalist

Up to five years or so ago, the question wouldn't even have arisen.

In those days, conspiracy theories were known for what they were, and the people who believed in and propagated them were also known for what they were.

Somewhere down the line, the confluence of media and marketing with human gullibility created societies in which people were no longer capable of distinguishing between fact and hysterical confabulation.

It's different with children; their ability to tell truth from fiction is weak. And fantasy is an important part of childhood; so long as the fantasy believed in isn't hate-filled or otherwise pernicious, it's probably best not to make too much fuss about it – for the time being.

If, however, the belief shows signs of becoming an obsession, or altering the child's behaviour in unhealthy ways, it may be time for a firm, fact-based debunking. Accompanied, if necessary, by professional counselling.

edit on 19/9/12 by Astyanax because: of a point.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:44 AM
Stick to truth. At all ages.

Conspiracy Theories in and of themselves are unproven claims.

But the truth may not always be the truth.

Let them decide what the truth is, all you can do is give them an alternative outlook.

Kids are not that much different than us, except they are more willing to learn.

-edit -
edit on 19-9-2012 by Common Good because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 02:45 AM
reply to post by stirling

Awesome real life story.

I also have taught my children young, to be weary of what they are being "taught". Its hard though. Especially when it comes to projects, for school.

When my oldest came home, and had to do her project on Journalism,The biggest headlines from the last 10 years, I told her to make sure she added this, at the end of her project.

However, research reveals that Swinton (1829-1901), after moving to New York, wrote an occasional article for the New York Times and was hired on a regular basis in 1860 as head of the editorial staff. Afterward holding this position throughout the Civil War, he left the paper in 1870 and became active in the labor struggles of the day. He later served eight years in the same position on the New York Sun and later published a weekly labor sheet, John Swinton's Paper.

The remarks were apparently made by Swinton, then the preeminent New York journalist, probably one night in 1880. Swinton was the guest of honour at a banquet given him by the leaders of his craft. Someone who knew neither the press nor Swinton offered a toast to the independent press. Swinton outraged his colleagues by replying:

There is no such thing, at this date of the world's history, in America, as an independent press. You know it and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to write your honest opinions, and if you did, you know beforehand that it would never appear in print.

I am paid weekly for keeping my honest opinion out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for similar things, and any of you who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the streets looking for another job. If I allowed my honest opinions to appear in one issue of my paper, before twenty-four hours my occupation would be gone.

The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. You know it and I know it, and what folly is this toasting an independent press? We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes.

John Swinton on the independence of the press

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 03:06 AM
reply to post by Observationalist

If you have kids what you plan on doing to counter the influences of mainstream education/media/science /religion

Use the MSM own weapon(s) against them. They know I watch Jesse Ventura, Ancient Aliens, UFO hunters and they sit and watch it with me (parental guidance highly recommended). I also have a myriad of books that are on the bookshelves in my house. Ghosts, UFO's, the unexplained, religious history, forbidden archeology and the list is endless. Both my children (6 & 8) are now actively starting to look at the pics and/or read them and ask questions and I tell them what I know - point blank. That's what happened with me and I am grateful that my mum and dad actively encouraged me to explore to my hearts content - pretty good considering they are both strict Catholics.

Both my kids go to a private catholic school but not for religious reasons - there is simply less idiots and violence there. The priests, I have know for years, are acutely aware of my philosophy and simply don't go there - I've debated all of them and even gone to the Arch-bishop a few times as well - they skip around certain books, tell me its not history, not to be taken literally, its only symbolic blah blah - don't buy it - never have - its easy to debate catholic dogma when you are armed to the teeth with the catechism - my faith won't be shaken but I won't allow the kids to be deceived either. They both understand the difference between the Church (The set of bricks) and Jesus's message to humanity (love one another as I have loved you / do as you would be done by)

Parental lock works best for me as I am away 4 weeks at a time. This is the most difficult to counter because little evils have made their way into seemingly innocent shows - cartoons, icarly etc etc - if its not about sex the innuendo is certainly there. If I catch them watching MTV or the likes thereof the gloves come off and I unleash - filth at its best - simple.

Let them know its ever evolving then explain remote viewing and how the police and military use it. CERN Hadron collider allows me to explain that science is looking at trying to find God. They are not quite there yet (regarding the fundamentals of "science") so I'll tackle that when it arises.

. How does the presentation of our beliefs affect our kids?

My 8 year old daughter now asks questions that the teachers can't answer or have never heard of (eg: Klaus Dona forbidden archeology stuff) - so she asks me - and the whole aforementioned cycle becomes complete.

I never have pushed this onto them - only when they ask do I give my thoughts on the matter.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 03:11 AM
I would not teach them about "conspiracy theories' per say. But I would most definitely teach them truth, and alternative history from the moment they begin asking the applicable questions. As a parent you can easily answer those questions by saying something like "Well, this is the story most people accept as the truth - but some other people believe this, this, or this."

Once they get old enough to read and have some capacity for information discernment you can then simply provide them with multiple source materials and say "Here's the evidence and current theories. Read it and come to your own conclusions".

Using the term "conspiracy theory" at any point in it might inadvertently marginalize both the childs perspective and might cause the child later trouble if they repeat the term, innocently, and find themselves being judged by others.

The term "conspiracy theory" has always brought with it thoughts of "fringe" - but lately it's becoming an ad hom insult and a dirty word.


posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 03:15 AM
reply to post by sonnny1

That is exactly right sonnny1.

The world does not pay people for the truth. The world kills people because of the truth.

That being said, as a previous poster mentioned, simply teach your children the truth from the very beginning. Teach them what it means to be honest and you won't have to tell them all the details of how the world is wrong or lying. If you make a child honest, then they will discern what is truth and what is a lie.

I think it is also to general of a description, the term "conspiracy theory". You see, there are many conspiracies that have been and are still real. They are proven beyond the shadow of a doubt - they are not theories. Look at the world today and look at what is happening. A lot of what is still referred to as "conspiracy theory" is simply truth.

However, there are theories which are NOT truth. Which is why the question, the title of the thread, is too general of a question to be answered simply according to its wording.

Which is why we say simply teach children honesty, integrity, wisdom, patience, and love.

And one poster mentioned earlier that children do not understand the difference between truth and fantasy. While it is true that children have a harder time discerning between reality and virtual reality, that is not to say that they have a harder time with truth and fiction.

I have made it clear to my 2 year old son for over a year that every cartoon he watches and the toys of the characters that he likes to play with are all very fake. I took away his privilege to watch Elmo (which I hate anyway...) because he was overly excited about the character. I explained to him that Elmo is a puppet - he is not real. People make him talk and make him dance and make his sounds. I have since discussed with him about many characters. He is well aware that all of that stuff is fake. In fact, he had a phase before he turned 2 where he used to tell me before and after a cartoon, "Daddy. That's fake. It's not real. It's just fake." As he shook his head and waved his hand at the television in a dismissing manner... which made me laugh every time.

Your child's ability to distinguish between what is reality and what is virtual reality is up to you.

I have sense taught him, since he has watched old television shows and the news with us; I have told him on every account, especially the news, that everything he will see on television is a story and is not real. He understands that there are things he might learn from the television that he can apply, but that he should not believe any of it at all; and if he has a question, he needs to ask me or his mom.

And he does.

And he is only 2 1/2.

If my 2 year old can discern the difference between what is real and what is fake, any child can.

And as far as truth and lies, my 2 year old understands those better than most people at these forums; better than most people in the world; because we have made it a mission to ensure that he understands completely the huge separation between the truth and a lie; even if the truth is made a lie by the smallest detail, he can find that detail.

Your children as so much more brilliant than you might think. People say all the time, "Oh, but you're going to rob them of their childhood!" No. I'm GIVING them their entire adulthood.

If you think that childhood is the only time we have to enjoy ourselves, then you're crazy. The reason why adults have so much stress today is because they were raised to believe that childhood was this fantasy world and then they had to be thrown into the world of stress. But if you teach a child from the beginning how to overcome these problems, then they learn to grow up and enjoy life responsibly and forever.

So if any of you have a debate with yourself concerning the joy of your child, be more concerned for their everlasting joy, not their extremely short and limited childhood. For joy to a child is utter foolishness; what a child thinks is fun (when they have no direction), we lock adults up for the same.

People say all the time that they want to hide the world from their children so they can enjoy their lives and then they will throw them into the world later. This is SO insane and I think unloving.

You should expose your child to the world immediately - and that does not necessarily mean to take them out into the world and throw them on their diaper. It means that you should run your household similarly to how the world is going to treat your child so that they LEARN TO DEAL WITH IT.

God has one way; that way is true. But the world also has another and our children have to live in it still yet.

So when my son lies or steals or manipulates or does whatever he does, I make sure he has things taken away forever and his freedom is taken away; just as the world would do, for in the world there is no forgiveness.

Be wise.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 03:18 AM
reply to post by Hefficide

Star that mate - agreed, my kids attention span with alot of this stuff (conspiracy theories) is about 10mins max at the best of times. But they are actively interested in forbidden archeology which I'm happy with. When they have asked about UFO's and aliens I tell them the line out of "Contact" - "well seems like an awful waste of space if its just us" and let them have at it from there.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 03:19 AM
reply to post by TarzanBeta

Great Post !

I cant agree more.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 04:25 AM
My Life was torn between the reality pills my father administered...and the Mormon Church which my Mom insisted we attend...every indoctrination....every meeting, every event. sheesh....
At eight yrs they asked me if i wanted to be baptised because thats the minimum age i guess,,,,and i declined.....only to be dunked against my will into a permanent relationship with the church, like it or not.....they would live to regret this....
From my dad i got to read every book Mark Twain ever wrote by ten...and much more...a set of encyclopedias which we both devoured.
My dad died when i was sixteen so it took a few years for the pills to take effect......eventually i did see the light though and extracated myself from there......
I have watched the slow erosion of freedom and the departure from Common law with great sadness over the years.
But i still cant see a solution other than responsible people as well as responsible goverment.
So many actual laws created over much which goes without saying to those mature enough to read and understand the founding documents.....the responsibility of being an adult human being....the search for knowledge, and the wisdom to properly apply it.....
The world has indeed "gone mad"......i truely believe its because the psychopaths have taken over our asylum.......
But how do we convince enough people of this fact?
Tell children the truth when they ask....its the only respectful and proper thing one can do for anoher human being.
people raised on the truth will lose the inclination to lie.....

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 04:25 AM
Some of my best memories as a child have been from family friend leading my through some kinds of thoughts. I remember a few times when I would ask if something was real or get drawn into something a little silly I'd just be asked questions.

"What do you think?"
"Do you think that's likely?"
"If the count from Sesame Street is a real person why haven't you seen anyone else that looks like that?"

I wish I'd had more people like that in my life early on who wouldn't just tell me but would actually discuss it with me, even if it was with amusement sometimes. I can't say it worked out perfectly ... I developed some logic in my teens that made me believe some things which I know aren't true, but it's a long journey and a learning one.

Relax and take it a single moment at a time I guess. Children discover things as they go, and curiousity should be nurtured. I think if you have strong opinions and push them on your child too early then it might be a little like Sarah Connor / Terminator 2. They will follow it like a religion for a year and then hate you for a life time that one time you're wrong.

Tarzan and heff make a fair bit of sense although ...

Originally posted by TarzanBeta
I took away his privilege to watch Elmo (which I hate anyway...) because he was overly excited about the character.

One major regret as a child I've always had is my parents always tried to get me to be a certain way and like certain things. They changed the channel when I liked something they didn't approve of (not talking about violent things) and they used to try to push me in very specific directions ...

The result was I ended up having to find ways of doing my art in other ways and I had an epic cartoon watching marathon when I left home that probably lasted years. Art is now one of the things I spend most of my time doing and I really wish my parents had encouraged that.

My dad actually said a couple of years ago that it was sad I wasn't encouraged more when looking at my work, so it's a shared feeling.

I don't think there is any need to address most topics in a particular time frame to be honest. It's mostly natural. Prepare your child to think and you shouldn't have to tell them what to think.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 09:39 AM
reply to post by Observationalist

I would suggest that the most important concept that we can impart on our children,is the ability to reach a decision and/or conclusion based on a rational set of criteria,that's not to say we have to openly "destroy" such childhood myths as Santa Claus and the tooth fairy,but to equip them with the ability to question such concepts.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 11:21 AM
reply to post by Sublimecraft

Thanks for answering my question so completely.

It's good you encourage an open environment, presenting them options and tools to research is important.

You have a interesting dilemma with how to protect your kids from violence, and still keep them from what I might say is a propaganda religion.

I unplugged the cable, only a show on Netflix once a day, before dinner. I cringe when I see the shows they watch leek in sexual innuendo, even violence. My kids are like recordes, they can quote the entire show at he dinner table. It's a mindles mimicking, but I do engage them by asking them to think about what they say, and talk about the theams or moral teaching from the shows.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 11:35 AM
reply to post by TarzanBeta

Thank you for your wise perspective, I think you nailed it, in regards to my views on this subject.

Your children as so much more brilliant than you might think. People say all the time, "Oh, but you're going to rob them of their childhood!" No. I'm GIVING them their entire adulthood.

If you think that childhood is the only time we have to enjoy ourselves, then you're crazy. The reason why adults have so much stress today is because they were raised to believe that childhood was this fantasy world and then they had to be thrown into the world of stress. But if you teach a child from the beginning how to overcome these problems, then they learn to grow up and enjoy life responsibly and forever.

Our kids are a long term project.

posted on Sep, 19 2012 @ 12:51 PM
This is something I feel strongly about. I have 5 children. I think from a very young age all the best and wisest thing to do is to teach them to question everything, keep an open mind, and I know this sounds silly, but think for yourself.

Question everything, is how we learn. It isn't so easy for a parent, but those Why, how, and who questions are the start of your children learning. Why is there fog? Why can't I eat this? Why does (blank) get to do this when I don't?

Answer you children with more than because I says so. You are not allowed to eat anything with artificial sweetened in it because I believe it will make you sick.

I feel that just about everything taught in school is taught as true and unquestionable. As a parent, I am not very fond of this way of teaching. I tend to think I use the public system as a supplemental and social aid to my children's education. I love teachers, please don't get me wrong, but we all should know as adults that textbooks are often wrong or one sided.

Who invented the light bulb?

Well, when I was in school, I was taught that Thomas Edison was the inventor, but later I found out that in 1800 Humpry Davy built the first electric light. It was expensive and not very practical. In 1860, fourty years later, Jospeh Swan built a longer lasting light bulb. It was still expensive and still not very practical. In 1879 the Edison crew built a much longer lasting bulb that eventually became practical for everyone. So most textbooks tend to give him credit for it.

History is a great tool in teaching kids to question things. It was thought that for many years that the Vietnam War (which wasn't really a was, just a police action that required a drafting of it's citizens to help in a police action) was started by the Gulf of Tonkin incidents of 1964. One was real, it happened, the other the last one that got everyone riled up took 40 years to come to light that it never, ever happened. Teach them about it, if they don't ask you questions, then you start asking them their opinions on it.

With regards to Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny. My husband and I had much debate, I didn't want to lie to them. The idea of the Tooth Fairy freaked me out as a kid. What did she want with my teeth?

One day, when my oldest was 2 and my next child was not quite here yet. He won with this. The world can be an ugly place. Can we please give them some tradition, magic, and childhood fantasy? I'm a sucker for that. So I would talk about the spirit of Santa Claus. I left the Tooth Fairy to him and I am just as guilty with the Easter bunny.

I hope this helps.

edit on 19-9-2012 by froglette because: (no reason given)

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