There was a time when politics weren’t considered appropriate dinner table conversation.
It wasn’t civil.
Now, in our world of 24-hour news cycles, I suppose we’ve let that rule slide.
This week someone shared with me a story of their grandchild who came home from school confused and stressed because of playground chants of “Joe must go, Joe must go.”
I’m sure this taunting comes from both “sides,” this just happens to be the example shared with me. And should children be asked to take a side at all?
Politics are a heavy burden for adults. Children shouldn’t feel compelled to champion a cause or a candidate on an adult’s behalf.
By modeling for children than they should choose a side and ostracize the other, are we not ensuring another generation of division? This hardly seems like a model for success.
Yes, parents should share their values with their children. But who is served by recess swing treated like a campaign rally. I’m sure children don’t fully understand the nuance—they’re not aware of the differences between candidates or even what’s at stake. Which is exactly why they should be left out of it. We’re not teaching them politics, we’re teaching them political division.
Navigating the political landscape is part of existing as an adult participant on democracy- it’s not something to be sandwiched between lunch and a spelling test.
It’s a short window where kinds are able to really be kids. Let’s not let political division shorten that window even more.
When it comes to politics, let’s leave kids out of it.
Cydney Baron is the editor of the Claremore Progress.