Things I Should Teach My Son, Part V

Private property. It sounds so good, so right, so true. It’s so dang important that it was written into that old document about our Rights (no, not that one; I mean this one, which is much better.)

But when we talk about rights, we usually perceive them to be only about a benefit to us; in the case of private property, we think about our stuff.

A true respect for property rights would also hold the converse to be true: that others have a right to their own property. The proper respect of the rights of others is a mark of maturity. You should never think you have any claim to the property of another person unless that person granted or sold you an interest in that property. You should never assume that such an interest exists without an explicit statement saying so.

Likewise, never give up any interest in any property without remuneration; even if that remuneration is merely implied gratitude when the property is shared gratis. The only exception to this is cheerful giving, when you just want to give something away.

Families screw this up big time with children, when they force the little ones to “share”. This was true of our family when you were young; a major mistake. Little ones should be taught early that their property is theirs to dispose of utterly; and that they should bear the consequences of their choices. If parents want some toys to be “community property” among their children and guest children, they should make it clear that they own the toys.

Read this article about the nuts and bolts about teaching children to understand private property from a very early age. I did not find it until very late; but it won’t be too late for you if you read it now.

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