In Focus

The Politics of Parenting


Whoever you are, you’re inevitably going to be influenced by your environment, including your family’s political views. You take into account the subtle remarks your parents make about controversial issues on the six o’clock news. You look at the little emblem on the bottom left hand corner of the channel your parents choose to watch and soak in the anchors’ voices preaching about ideologies. This home environment, your parents’ choice of political inputs, influences your own direction. At a more micro level, whether or not your parents teach you to inquisitively look beyond the headlines, catchphrases, and conventional wisdom that many people seem to accept at face value determines the degree to which you are influenced.
If your parents simply listen to the headlines and accept what is said without question, then you will probably follow in their footsteps. But if you listen and question the credibility of a source or the circumstance, you may find yourself questioning the information presented, causing you to form your own opinions. By looking beyond the surface of a political theory, you are searching for what you personally believe is socially or morally acceptable.
My dad taught me to never believe the first thing I hear, especially in politics. No matter what point of view I heard on the radio, TV, or from someone in my life, I was told to do more research in order to develop my own opinions. As a result, my opinions have both clashed and agreed with those of my father. Because my dad has always listened to the more conservative points of view, I was originally steered in that direction. However, he was not my sole influence since I used various opinions to formulate my own.
Undoubtedly, parents contribute to the political views of their children, but to what degree depends on how parents either accept or scrutinize the information presented to them. Those parents who provide their children with the skill of looking beyond the surface give their children the political freedom they deserve. We are told as kids not to believe everything we read on the internet, so why should we believe the first thing we hear on the news, or from political leaders?

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