When I saw this particular ad from Hillary earlier this summary, I couldn’t help but agree with it … though admittedly she’s already had my vote for a thousand other reasons, so I didn’t really give it a whole lot of thought beyond that…
…until today I came across this article reporting that the NEA suggests that Donald Trump’s campaigning is posing a negative effect on children, particularly with regards to bullying on the playground, citing examples of Latino kids getting bullied by their classmates about “deportation” and talking about “President Trump’s wall.”
I feel like this is an important topic worth discussing because despite my oldest son only being 2.5, we’re already desperately making changes in how we talk around our house to try to prevent one of his favorite words from being “Shit!” It’s no secret that children’s minds are impressionable and even if they don’t understand the complicated subject matters at hand, they still pick up on keywords and heated emotions that you might not necessarily want parroted back at you in the grocery store or when your relatives are over for a visit.
One particular example specific to politics sticks out in my mind from the last election cycle after President Obama defeated Mitt Romney and got re-elected for his second term. The child, who will go unnamed, was absolutely devastated that Romney lost and spent god knows how long bawling about how “our country was doomed” because Obama had won his re-election.
It’s worth noting that his parents were both clearly Republicans, though I haven’t a clue just how vocal they were about their political choices in front of their child, but regardless, I think it’s safe to say that ten year-olds shouldn’t have a political affiliation whatsoever!!!
I was only vaguely aware of politics even though most of high school when we started taking classes about government, and it probably wasn’t until the Monica Lewinsky scandal was everywhere in 1998 during my senior year that I even partially began paying attention … most likely at that point just for the giggles – I couldn’t have told you about any of Clinton’s actual policies to save my life…
Granted, I grew up in a household where politics wasn’t really on the forefront of anybody’s minds, whereas now thanks to social media we have the opportunity to get all riled up about politics pretty much 24×7. And that’s a problem for all sorts of other reasons, too, but with regards to parenting I think we might need a reminder not only that our kids are always listening, but also learning from how we debate and discuss our political beliefs…
…and if you’re the kind of person who tends to get most of their information from Facebook posts and soundbites – that might not be the kind of learning that you really want your child to be exposed to!
Now it goes without saying that I think Donald Trump is a horrible choice for president and any number of things that he’s said would get any of my kids’ mouths washed out with soap if I ever heard about them getting said out on the playground at school, but I also think that we need to be aware of the things we say because our kids are listening to those words, too, and who does a child learn to emulate first but his own Mom and Dad?
When you rave about how Obama is ruining the country and how these libtards don’t know freedom from the hole in their asses … that’s an example of respect, or lack thereof, for your children to learn.
When you polarize your views based only on a candidate’s failings and ignore the legitimate things that they’ve accomplished in their career … that’s an example of blind politics and a failure to find the good in other people.
And when you brush off racist and sexist remarks because you think that political correctness is a blight on our nation’s future … you’re giving a pass to your own kids to treat other people the same way, and maybe they don’t see it like just a joke as you claim to view such behavior yourself.
Parenting over the last couple of years has taught me that we have to be more aware of our surroundings because it’s never quite as cute and hilarious when it’s your own kid running around the living room shouting, “Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck!!!” when you’ve got company over, and heaven forbid it becomes a habit that resurfaces sometime when they’re in church or school! 😯
So not only do we have to watch our own behavior, but seeing that we can’t exactly control the behavior of the politicians that we follow and support, it does beg the question of why they deserve our support if they can’t serve as good role models while running for the highest office in the land.
Food for Thought – 20% of the US population is under the age of 15 – which candidate would you rather they learn how to treat their peers from???