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How Much Should our Kids Know About our Political Views?

November 6 is fast approaching, which means the good, the bad and the ugly of our political process is pretty much every where we turn. How much should our kids be exposed to it all?

Moms Talk is a weekly feature on all Lehigh Valley Patches in which local parents, caregivers and other members of the community are invited to share opinions and advice on parenting topics.

This week’s Moms Talk question was sparked by a recent Moms Talk essay on the Redmond Patch and relates to children and politics.

Election Day is less than a month away and evidence of that is pretty much everywhere we look. Turn on the TV, and there are election ads. Head out to the mailbox and there is campaign literature. Answer the telephone during dinner, and someone is calling to find out if so-and-so’s position on such-and-such issue would make you more or less likely to vote for him/her.

Visit any Patch site these days and there’s a bevy of articles, ads, opinion pieces and reader comments related to the upcoming decision on Nov. 6.

All of this, coupled with what I do for a living (No honey, I can’t go to soccer practice today, I have to go hear Jill Biden speak), means that my children are fairly aware that our country is in the final stretch of what is proving to be a contentious election season. Beyond that, I am not sure how much they know or more importantly, how much they should know.

And, that brings us to this week’s Moms Talk question:

How exposed is your child to politics? And, how much do you share about your own political views?

Our Moms Council members include: 

  • Lisa Amey of Upper Milford Township is a stay-at-home mother of two. A past president of the MOMS Club of Emmaus and longtime member of MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers), Lisa is an Independent Consultant for Arbonne International. 
  • Lisa Drew of Emmaus is a certified nutritionist and personal trainer, wellness and fitness coach with more than 17 years of experience. She is the mother of a 13-year-old girl and a 9-year-old boy.
  • Jennifer Elston of Emmaus has almost two decades of professional experience in child development and counseling. She is currently a stay-at-home mom to two beautiful girls. Together with her husband, Chris, she owns Christopher Elston Photography.
  • Jeanne Lombardo of Nazareth is the mother of a 10-year-old boy and a 5-year-old girl. She’s new to the Lehigh Valley, having moved to Nazareth from Bergen County, NJ in January.
  • Lisa Merk of Lower Macungie is a stay-at-home mother of four boys – a 12-year-old and 6-year-old triplets. Lisa is a past president of the MOMS Club of Lower Macungie East. In her “spare” time, Lisa teaches piano to school-age children.
  • Zoila Bonilla Paul of Bethlehem is a stay-at-home mom to two girls – a 5-year-old and a 14-month-old. Zoila is a member of her local “moms’ club” and says she is “well-versed in the fun that children can bring.”
  • Beth Sharpless of Emmaus works part time in a local emergency department as a nurse and part time from home as a customer support specialist. She has two children -- a boy who is 3 and a 6-year-old girl. She says they love spending time outdoors and dancing.

If you would like to become a part of the Moms Council and/or have ideas for future Moms Talk questions, please email jennifer.marangos@patch.com.

Lisa Merk October 14, 2012 at 06:33 PM
I'll answer any questions they ask, but don't really discuss it much more with them. My oldest of course understands and knows much more and again I will answer any question he may have. I don't bring it up with them, as I feel, they will ask if they want to know something. There is plenty of time later in life for them to worry and inform themselves of such things.
Jeanne October 14, 2012 at 10:01 PM
I believe you should be able to address it all with your children. For me i feel a little more superficially for my 6 year old and a little more in depth to my 12 year old. However, i think that they should know ALL sides....not just the side that I am routing for. I feel they can know what my opinions are because my information on what supports my opinions helps them learn how to form their own opinions. I think it should be a very discussable, open and objective conversation...almost like doing a report for a debate....looking up both sides on a topic and what both parties believe...and then as a family discuss the pros and cons to supporting that person on that topic.
Jennifer Elston October 14, 2012 at 11:41 PM
I answer the questions they ask as well, but we don't have political discussions with them. My eldest did help me vote in the last election:)
Lisa Amey October 15, 2012 at 01:28 PM
I think kids usually parrot what opinions the parents have about political candidates. If my kids have questions, I will certainly share my thoughts. I will state, however, that it's okay to disagree with me if they want.

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