Brainwashing your children is your parental duty…

… So yesterday I had about 4 hours to kill while waiting in line to early vote. While I was there I met a lovely young black woman wearing a t-shirt that said “They stole us. They sold us. They OWE us.” and I thought; gee, she looks stunning for being over 150 years old! I’m guessing she was about that age since slavery was abolished in 1865. Hey, don’t let history get in the way of your overwhelming sense of entitlement.

Speaking of stupidity and politics; have you ever discussed with other parents how they were handling the elections with their children? It’s the perfect teaching opportunity; you know, government, the electoral process, democracy, moral obligations and responsibilities. What better time in a child’s young life to install your political ideologies and indoctrinate them to your way of thinking than during a presidential election. Can you believe some parent’s are actually passing up the chance to politically influence their own children?! I know!

I guess they don’t know if they don’t do it someone else will gladly step right in. Someone else being teachers, Nickelodeon, and that commie Big Bird.

So there I was having a conversation with a friend about Michelle Obama coming to a local elementary school – told ya! – and this father was telling me how disheartened he was that both his kids thought B.O. was “so cool”. I asked what he was doing to remedy that post haste. Incredulously, he said nothing. He didn’t want to influence his own children in matters of politics. He felt the best thing to do was let them decide for themselves who to support and be a good dad by standing behind their decision. Really!? Truly?!

His kids like Obama because they think he’s cool. That’s it. No other reason. They fell for an empty facade of coolness that’s been careful constructed by endless appearances on late night TV and a kid’s television network. That is what happens when you let young children make unguided decisions. They will always choose candy for dinner.

You don’t let children decide for themselves whether drugs are cool or not. Little Johnny doesn’t like homework so he’s decided he won’t do it anymore and we stand behind his decision. Um, no. Unwavering support for whatever our kids do or decide is not the same thing as teaching them independent thought. If you want to help children learn to think for themselves you have to first teach them how to think. Show them how to gather information and critically weigh that information in order to make informed decisions. Liking someone because they are cool is wrong wrong wrong and it’s utterly inexcusable for a parent not to help a child see that. Parents should support informed decisions, not the mindless ones.

I will never understand why some parents will be involved in their kid’s decision making process but then behave as if religion and politics are off limits. My mom did that, you know. Didn’t want to influence me in regards to religion so I was a big Godless heathen most of my life. She went through the effort of raising me and suddenly stopped at religion. Weird, I know.

I honestly never thought I would ever have to actually type this, but parents, it is OK to influence your children in all matters. Remember, if you aren’t going to do it someone else will.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • Cordelia

    I can’t imagine how mind-numbing this raising-children business must be if you think you’re not even allowed to discuss politics and religion at *your own* dinner table anymore! I have five myself – children, not dinner tables – and those are our BEST conversations.

  • Evelyn

    FOUR HOURS to vote early? Yowza. i wonder how many people will line up today and then bail when it’s obvious they will lose most of a workday. (I am in a fairly small town and voted last week. It took five minutes and i may never vote any other way again.)

    • TheodoreSeeber

      I’m in Oregon. We vote by mail. Our polling places, such as they are (dropoff sites if you want to save a stamp) have been open since October 15. I voted October 23, the weekend I got my ballot and my wife’s next trip to the library.

  • Beth

    Gosh, we are supporters of a certain Libertarian leaning representative from Texas. My kids (oldest is 6) know this and asked if we would be voting for him today. My oldest has even said “Romney, who could support him?” I know he is parroting us, so we work hard to make sure that they understand where Mama and Papa are coming from but to know they can have their own opinions.

    However, “End the Fed” chants from a two year old are pretty cute ;)

    • Patricia

      Beth…we support “Uncle Paul”, too (as we somehow came to refer to the TX Sen. in our house). Honestly, your post could be written by me…word for word…with the exception that it is a 4-year old chanting “End the Fed!” ;)

  • Lydia

    The most important part of that is that someone else will step in. I don’t understand how parents who send their children to school can be so foolish as to think that their political and other decisions in that case are *uninfluenced*. Of *course* they are influenced. By peers, of course, but also by authority figures. Do they really think the teachers in their schools are maintaining a strictly neutral political stance? If so, they’re really in denial!

  • Patricia

    Believe me…if we parents don’t do the indoctrinating (though we don’t tend to refer to the spiritual & intellectual formation of these young, impressionable souls in our care as such)…the tax-funded-government-indoctrination-factories (I mean, public schools…universities included) & mass pop-media/entertainment industry will be happy to do so for you.

  • Anna

    My nine year old nephew participated in a mock election in his classroom yesterday. 16 voted for Obama; 2 voted for Romney. He was one of the Romney votes. When asked why he voted thusly, Andrew simply said, “Obama’s for boys kissing boys and killing babies. Why would anyone want to vote for that? May I please have some more macaroni?” That’s good parenting and catechetics right there.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    My son, like me, is so fed up with both parties and the lack of anything representing Catholic values, that he wanted to write in his favorite superhero- The Tick.

  • Modern Comments

    My aunt voted for Obama because he’s “funny”…and a nephew wouldn’t vote for Romney because “He’s a Mormon and they wear magic underwear.” Tried explaining to both of them economics, etc. and it was like talking to the wall. Obama’s still “funny” and Romney “wears magic underwear” so they’re going to vote for Obama. Sigh.