Parents, Children and Politics … Do our children listen?

It’s an election year and even though your kids may be young, they are starting to form opinions about politics. As parents, who would you like to help guide them – Hollywood or you?

It is an election year and often, as parents, our conversations turn to politics. Our beliefs, our fears, our tolerance or our impatience. Are our children listening? Are they influenced? Who is the bigger influence: Parents or Hollywood?

We all know Hollywood celebrities have a huge influence on people in general, especially

with children. Little Timmy saw Adam Sandler drinking his product which was placed with a new taste

Mountain Dew and suddenly little Timmy wanted it. No big surprise.

Most of these impressions are harmless, as long as the parents maintain the final purchase / consumption decision. But increasingly these days, celebrities are using their power to voice their personal political opinions. That would be fine, but when their statements are biased and skewed to the left or (sometimes) right, is that the message we want to send our kids? Does it follow our beliefs? And how does it affect the children?

When George Clooney rose to receive his Academy Award and gave a lengthy speech about how liberalism is essentially the wave of the future, he formed the minds of his fans. Fans may or may not feel that way but his opinion seems to have an impact on society.

George Clooney is just an example.

More and more politicians are using actors to become their voices.

You don’t have to be politically active or even agree with the political side to feel its influence. It’s everywhere.

As adults / parents, it is likely that we have formed our core beliefs. But, what about children?

Raising children today is far different from previous generations. Children talk about policy and elections. They live in the same world that we do and are affected by many aspects of the political downfall.

There is no way to completely isolate your children from different political opinions. Even if you never let them watch tv or listen to the radio, there are still playgrounds, schoolmates and neighborhoods who have been influenced and now feel empowered by their new point of view.

What you can do is teach kids how to be informed American citizens and voters.

When your kids turn 18 and go to the polls, hopefully you will instill a sense of responsibility in them to choose their thoughts based on research. Instead of movie star influence.

They will get hit with hidden messages in some of their favorite movies or shows and might think ‘wow, I can’t support this because Family Guy is making fun of it.’ But, hopefully, with these memorable years of family discussions, they’ll know enough to be able to sort through the facts to reach their own conclusions.

Wouldn’t it be great if Hollywood helped send a message for kids to go research and find out for themselves what they really believe? Sad to say, some adults don’t even do that. They also give up on good paid messaging.

Voting is an extraordinary privilege and should not be taken for granted. Every vote doesn’t count and it is our children we hand over the government for, all too soon.

Include your children in political discussions as appropriate.

Encourage them to ask questions and help them with research on issues that interest them.

There are many websites and books out there speaking from a common point of view so that they can be educated and learn to choose for their own reasons on a subject. If they go left, that’s fine. If they go right, that’s fine too. As long as they lean in one way or another for their own reasons based on solid information.

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