Teaching Our Children the Values of a Free Society

A conversation with 'Tuttle Twins' author Connor Boyack
November 30, 2020 Updated: November 30, 2020

Connor Boyack is a speaker, podcaster, and author of 22 books, including the popular children’s series, The Tuttle Twins. Through entertaining stories, the series teaches kids the values and concepts that are fundamental to a free society.

Each book focuses on a singular idea, addressing concepts such as individual liberty, free markets, and the golden rule.

I recently spoke to Boyack about his books and how families can navigate the current tumultuous climate. 

connor boyack
Author Connor Boyack. (Courtesy of Connor Boyack)

The Epoch Times: You wrote your first “Tuttle Twins” book back in 2014. What inspired you to write that first installment?

Connor Boyack: I founded a think tank, Libertas Institute, and spend my days fighting to limit government. When my children were younger, I found myself wanting to share with them what I did all day, but I didn’t have the vocabulary to simplify it for them. I turned to Amazon, hoping to find a book to introduce ideas like free-market economics, property rights, or individual liberty, but couldn’t find anything. 

So I partnered up with my friend Elijah, the illustrator and a dad himself, to set out and create our own books to give parents and children this vocabulary to have some amazing discussions about the way the world works.

The Epoch Times: You’ve lamented the fact that basic ideas of a free society are not taught in our public schools. Why do you think that is? What impact is this omission having on our kids today?

Mr. Boyack: Public schools are inherently socialistic; they are funded by the many to benefit the few—ostensibly to then benefit the many. A socialist system will not teach children the problems with socialism. Government schools won’t point out the problems with government. This duty falls to parents as the natural educators of their children, but many parents don’t know these issues themselves, let alone how to discuss them with young children.

As the saying goes, those who don’t learn from the past are condemned to repeat it. History offers countless lessons about the problems with authoritarianism, socialism, collectivism, and the like—yet the rising generation are deprived of these lessons and therefore find themselves embracing the same mistakes of the past.

The Epoch Times: Many young people today see socialism as a benign philosophy. How can parents teach kids the difference between socialism and freedom?

Mr. Boyack: The main problem parents have is that they themselves did not learn, and do not understand, the dangers of socialism—its history and its effects. They therefore feel inadequate to convey such information to their children, and thus delegate the task to schools that are not equipped to do so. 

The value proposition of the Tuttle Twins is that we help parents learn alongside their children about these ideas and then discuss together how they are relevant and why they are important. it’s a very non-threatening way for parents who aren’t well versed in these concepts to get up to speed quickly.

The Epoch Times: Many parents have also gone through the public school system. Have you received feedback from adults who’ve found your books enlightening as well? 

Mr. Boyack: We set out to create books for kids, yet it was surprising to us to see such a strong secondary audience emerge: the parents! We did not anticipate that so many parents would be learning new things alongside their children. We receive multiple messages each day via email and social media from parents who share how much they enjoyed learning new concepts in our books.

This is likely a testament to the fact that schools have utterly failed to equip people with information about free markets, classical liberalism, and the ideas of a free society. Parents have long failed to convey this information on their own, and since schools aren’t, it has left a massive void. That’s the precise void the Tuttle Twins exists to fill.

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The latest “Tuttle Twins” books. (Courtesy of Connor Boyack)

The Epoch Times: Though our society seems so ideologically divided today, most parents want their children to grow up with a high moral standard and good character. What values do you hope to inspire in readers of The Tuttle Twins?

Mr. Boyack: Any good parent teaches their children some fairly common ideas: be nice to others, don’t hurt others, don’t steal, etc. It’s only as adults that we add all kinds of exceptions to this list when it comes to the government, voting, taxes, etc. Our books essentially affirm that those time-tested ideas long taught to children are equally relevant to adults, and that a free society requires that we go back to those childhood lessons and practice the Golden Rule.

The Epoch Times: There is an onslaught of false information and propaganda in the media today. What can parents do to help their children learn to discern truth from lies?

Mr. Boyack: Parents who can’t discern between truth and lies will not be able to teach their children to do so—and most adults really struggle with this. Parents and children alike need to develop a certain amount of skepticism when it comes to official narratives and media claims, since history has shown that the public is lied to time and again. 

We also must seek out information from non-traditional sources including foreign media outlets and independent journalists, since the “mainstream media” is corrupted and incentivized to “get clicks” and generate controversy instead of educating and informing. 

The Epoch Times: Since 2014, The Tuttle Twins series has enjoyed increasing popularity and an animated series is on the way. To what do you attribute this success?

Mr. Boyack: Families are starving for good content that helps teach sound principles. This is the clear message we have received from our community of over 250,000 families worldwide, with many hundreds being added each day. Many parents frankly feel like their families are under assault by those advancing socialism and trying to attack the foundations of our society. They want a shield to protect their family, and many turn to the Tuttle Twins for that reason.

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