The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

The student news publication of Libertyville High School

Drops of Ink

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Political Parenting

Photo Courtesy of MCT Campus
Unfortunately, kids often base their own political view off that or their parents’.

Now that election season is in full swing, many have to witness the unfortunate sight of kids and teenagers mindlessly spewing whatever political opinions their parents gave them.  It seems that in this day and age, and probably throughout American history, political opinions are basically genetic.  If your parents have strong views on a certain politician or political issue, most often, you share that opinion with them.  

Political views should not be hereditary.  It is both annoying and frightening when I hear teenagers spouting off whatever political opinions their parents have told them.  Young people need to be well-informed on politics, but not only from their parents.  They should read about candidates from unbiased sources, such as PBS, and then form their own opinions.  

LHS government teacher Mr. Dennis Duffy finds that coming across unbiased sources is difficult.

“Bias is all around us, but parents need to teach their kid how to recognize it,” Mr. Duffy explained.  “By recognizing it, you can educate yourself across the broad perspective.  Parents need to encourage their kid to have an open mind and seek out multiple sources.”

In order for this country to grow and develop, parents should hide their political views from their children until their children are old enough to form their own political views.  If parents begin telling their children what to think at a young age, it is unlikely that those children will form their own political views later in life.  This country can only progress with new ideas and new viewpoints, but these new ideas will never come if each generation thinks exactly like the last.

Instead of parents telling their children what to think, they should help their children stay informed.  With high school students, it seems that only a small percentage of us are truly informed on what is happening with elections.  Many teens either disregard any other views besides those of their parents while others just disregard the elections completely.  

“If parents were to actively disengage, then that sends a message to the kids that they shouldn’t bother paying attention to what’s going on in the world and that they shouldn’t have an opinion,” Mr. Duffy stated.

Parents do not need to completely withhold their political views from their children, but they should do so until their kids are mature enough to make their own political choices.  Also, when their kids are old enough, parents should not just tell their kids what to think.  It is essential for them to make their children aware of their views, but they should not seem close-minded if their children have differing viewpoints.  If parents are being close-minded or condescending during the discussion, their child will feel pressured to agree with the parents’ views.

According to a survey by Civic Science Inc., if both parents share the same political views, there is a 62 percent chance that their child will share those views with them.  It is not a negative thing for a person to share the same political views as their parents.  However, people need to be making the decisions for themselves and not just blindly following their parents.  

Unfortunately, it is usually inevitable that young kids are going to think exactly like their parents when it comes to political viewpoints.  But as a nation, we need to really evaluate if that is a good thing.  Kids should be encouraged to think freely when it comes to politics.  The job of the parent should only be to help their kid stay educated; they should not tell their child what to think.


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The student news publication of Libertyville High School
Political Parenting