It led to a brief discussion on parenting which clarified for me one of the problems we face. Mark Moncrieff (of Upon Hope) commented that:
I think the most important word here is the word "raise", children need to be raised. But "being free to be whoever they want to be" implies that children can raise themselves.
Which led to my own (disjointed) comment in reply:
That's a good way of putting it. And you can imagine why this is so. If you are a liberal and you think that there are no objectives purposes in life and that people should just "be themselves" however they see fit, then there is little purpose to parenting your child - there is nothing definite to raise them toward. Parenting just comes to mean accepting unconditionally. Not imposing anything. Giving the child confidence to "be anything you care to be". The parents are just there to ferry the child around as a kind of support crew, rather than transmitting culture, identity, purpose, wisdom, values.
This is not the only reason why the traditional role of the parent has been undermined. It's more difficult now for parents to set the tone within the family home, given the arrival of portable, wi-fi devices (at least 20 years ago you could simply change the TV channel). But 20 years ago, many middle-class parents were happy enough if their children were raised for the purposes of educational qualifications and career, and so the traditional role of parents in socialising their children was largely left to schools.
This is clearly one issue where it is not enough to be "conservative" (in the sense of conserving the good in society) - we have to be restorationist. We have to restore an older understanding of the parental role, which means giving parents confidence that transmitting ideals of character, of natural sex roles, of identity and loyalty, and of life wisdom are significant to the development and the future well-being of their children.