Got something to say?
I say why not? If your political views parallel your ethics and morals, why not?
Wow, lots to think about. It would break my heart to hear my child spouting religious right wing crap. I am trying to teach her that there are more than one religion while her Aunt and Grandma take her to a Christian Church most Sundays. Politics I hadn't thought about as much except that I take my children with me when I vote and make sure that they each get a "I Voted" sticker. Teaching them that if we don't vote then we haven't used our small voice to let the government know how we feel. I am trying to teach them morals and ethics and hopefully they may disagree on certain key points at some time. But, I hope that they will be on the left to some degree. Patty
This is a great and thoughtful piece Liz. At the risk of always sounding like the "old mom" here's an interesting story. We've always been Democrats too. Our kids went to Ethical culture schools. Etc. BUT one son saw TopGun when he was around 10 and decided he was joining the Air Force. We would have preferred otherwise, but we took him to air shows and parades and The Intrepid Museum anyway. THEN he read Tom Clancy in his early teens and decided he would go work for the CIA, so we took him to a seminar in intelligence at the National Archives and to meet a CIA veteran to tell him what it was like, and we worried. You have to realize that back then, in [literally] the last century, military and intelligence ambitions were more political than professional - and we saw them as the road to Conservative perdition. My point though, is that we never tried to talk him out of anything; (includingthe time he saw an Oliver North speaker poster in NJ on a beach trip and we ended up there.. what a weird thing that was..) We decided that the important thing was that he had passions and a conscience and would become a moral being no matter what his politics.Our reward: in high school he found the Grateful Dead! I always joke that Jerry Garcia saved our family. What I'm saying is that all we can really do is to equip our kids with basic values and then let them figure out how to implement them. As they grow up, you'll find your respect for them as growing people will make it not-so-hard to do that.
LOL! Cynthia...I was very much like your son, except that I kept my liberal leanings thru all my military aspirations. I wanted to be an astronaut and make science real for everyone, so I decided that I needed to attend the Air Force Academy. Don't know if anyone remembers, but in the late 80s there was a TV show that had Shannon Doherty in it...her character reinforced the AFA for me. I even studied for the entrance exam in middle school! Of course, then I wanted to be a marine biologist, so that left the AFA in the dust. Flipper saved me! haha!
What is this? Where all the Democrats hang out? Weird. Talking out of both sides of your mouths...you don't think your kids see your hatred and anger toward this country? You are wrong...they do and they will grow up just like all of you.
First of all "Anonymous," have the courage to back up your comments with a name. I agree that teaching our children our political values is like teaching them religious values. Liz summed up her argument well, and I happen to be in total agreement. Teaching progressive/liberal/Democratic views does not equal being closed minded and hateful. There's certainly a positive way to do it. Plus, look at my Obama Mama here (smack in the middle of the photo). She taught me everything I know. http://www.spiegel.de/international/0,1518,564219,00.html
I agree - we teach our kids lots of values - politics reflects our values. There's certaily a way to be proud and outspoken about our own values and political choices...and let our kids find their own way.Sort of an aside: I'm thinking of how I will explain abortion to my daughter. I think Lora Shinn perhaps did not do justice to the complexity of the decision for some women. The challenges of being a parent are immense, especially when you're not ready - too young, too poor, too unhappy, too alone, etc. (not to mention the "bad situations" she rightly decided were too much for her daughter just yet...)
I will most certainly teach my child my moral values. I believe that it is possible to be a moral person in most political parties and countries, leaving out exceptional cases such as the NAZI party. I think that indoctrination in a particular dogma, be it Democratic, conservative "Christian", Republican, communist, or whatever, is dangerous to the minds of children and adults. We should not confuse morality with political affiliation.Morals are nearly universal (starting with, "do not hurt others"...). It is the exceptions to these morals ("unless they want to hurt you," "unless they already hurt you," "unless you need the same thing and they might get it if you do not hurt them..." etc.) that vary and which end up dividing us.It's a question of whether one deals with the big issues- love, justice, fairness, mercy, etc. or whether one focuses on the little ones, like whether person X has the right not to help person Y if Y is starving to death but does not live within driving distance of person X, but person X still could help them, but person X could not save EVERYONE who is starving, etc.The latter, children need to work out themselves as they stem from general principles.
I explain both points of view - because everyone in the extended family is a Republican, though we're not. I've wrestled with being fair - as I am in my own mind when thinking about an issue - but sometimes I can't help but explain, "we're not voting for John McCain because he hates women and children." This upsets my mother-in-law who says I'm wrong. Me? wrong? "Watch it - I control where the kid spends her holidays" I bite my tongue so I don't say it. Then I smile proudly when my kid dones the "I heart Obama" t-shirt and tells every grandparent, aunt, uncle and cousin they must be misinformed.
I would not force my politics on my child, as I do believe she is smart enough to figure stuff out on her own. However, when faced with the following, quoted from Tracee: "...but sometimes I can't help but explain, 'we're not voting for John McCain because he hates women and children.'," all I can say is WOW. Do you really, really think that John McCain HATES women and children (come on, really)? And, if you do, do you also tell your children that Osama Bin Laden HATES women and children as well? That Saddam hated his own country's women and children? If not, you are not telling the whole story, you are filling your child with feelings of hatred and anger for something for which he/she knows nothing about. Why would you want to put that weight on your children and make such a simplification of your politics in that manner? I am a proud Republican and I would never tell my daughter "Democrats HATE babies in their mommy’s tummies", b/c it is an oversimplification and it does no justice to any point Dems might have about the pro-choice side of the debate. Sooo, in conclusion, be the bigger person and try to represent both sides fairly - if you don't, you are doing your children a injustice and forcing them to make politics a simply emotional issue about who they might "hate" at that moment. Everyone talks about wanting their children to be critical thinkers… but only if they support Obama?P.S. It's all well and good how you have all represented the abortion issue, but let's remember that children are not ready to see the whole picture - they do not know that the mother DID make a choice to create this living being (in cases outside of rape or incest, of course). It did not just happen miraculously, and it is not just something that the mother is THEN faced with a choice - she already made her choice, and each choice has consequences. Sorry, but you have to represent the whole timeline, not just the result. We are all grown, mature women… you can’t pretend/ignore that each choice doesn’t represent some sort of a consequence.
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