When you listen to the news each day remember that your children are also listening. As early as three years of age your children may be seeing Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, President Obama, and others. This can come from the television in your home, on the radio as you are going to grandma's house, at your day care provider, or all the other numerous sources of information that we have available in today's world. Your children, no matter what age, internalize far more than you think.
This is just a reminder and a plea. As we cannot, and maybe should not, try to keep our children from all this information, we should at least talk to them in a rational manner about it. We should not blow them off and we should not let our own prejudices influence how we answer them. Remember even the smallest concern on their part deserves an answer that is not derogatory about another human being. Would it not be far better to tell them that everyone is different and everyone has their own beliefs? You can let them know it is OK to disagree with others however we can do this in a civilized manner.
Our children are hearing intolerance, hatred, falsehoods, and skewed opinions without the knowledge base we have to formulate opinions based upon experiences, education, and networks of family and friends that have helped form our opinions. If we do not take the time to help our children understand that we can disagree without being disagreeable, that learning from everyone is possible, and that diversity makes us better and helps us advance as a people, we may be raising a generation cemented into specific beliefs that will be more contentious than our own if we are not careful.
We may be rigid in our own beliefs however is it fair to expect that your children are too at such an early age, as they will have to solve the problems of the future and not today? They will face a far more complex world with far more complex problems than we have and they need to have an open mind to do so.
You may chose to short change yourself but please do not short change your children to satisfy your own goals. Our children are the most important national treasure and should be treated as such by both us and our politicians.
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