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Teaching Children to Think for Themselves

I love the idea of teaching my children to think for themselves. I value their ideas and opinions and want to help them learn how to evaluate information, weigh different views, and come up with their own perspective. But that’s proving to be easier said than done. In this time of heightened political awareness, my 6-year-old has absorbed a fair amount of the dinner conversation regarding the Presidential race. He is well aware of the views my husband and I share and has become adept at repeating them. And I have to admit, I love that. I find it absolutely adorable when he tells people which candidate he’s supporting and what “he” thinks of the other one. I’m really not sure I’d find it quite so cute if he was speaking in favor of the other candidate. Is it really so bad to want him to share our values? Isn’t part of parenting sharing your ideologies openly with your children and explaining why you believe what you do? In 12 years he’ll be casting his own ballot. He’ll have a lifetime to march to the beat of a different drummer, if he so chooses. Until then, I’m perfectly happy to steer him in our direction.

One comment

  1. lotusmom November 6, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Because my parents were 1st generation American immigrants, they didn’t talk to us about politics and many social issues. I’ve had to rely on personal experiences and education to formulate my political opinions, but I feel like I’m a late bloomer because of that. I wish I could have had some foundation to my beliefs, even if it was contrary to where I am now. So with my kids, I have no shame in encouraging them to share my ideologies. At the same time, I teach them to ask questions and form their own opinions. It’s a great gift for their future.

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