political parenting

Sarah claims to hate politics, but draws what are essentially political cartoons about her classmates and watches Comedy Central’s best hour four times a week. Next year, she begins her career as a high school journalist and I suspect she’ll become even more politically active while continuing to deny any political affiliation. Tommy’s odd filtering system has him less aware of the world around him. He pretty much memorizes whatever my father says to him and accepts it as gospel. Last night Tommy spouted off something that made me cringe and Doug pounced on it like a hidden nest of birds. Tommy felt trapped and confused at the direct attack on what he thought to be the only way to see something. Doug continued with example after example to try and help Tommy understand why many people disagree with what he said. Doug didn’t try to tell Tommy he was wrong. He just wanted Tommy to understand that most things can be viewed from different angles. Doug and I don’t want to rubber stamp our children into liberals, we just want them to make educated decisions instead of automatically accepting and following. I do expect my children to be voters who are able to have an intelligent discussion about politics with people whose opinions are different. With five children, it’s very likely we’ll have a full range of political ideologies represented at family gatherings over the next decade. I’m warning you now, if any of my children claim to be Libertarians, they are going to get a straw wrapper spit at them. Be honest and call yourselves Republican Light.

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