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The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

Wichita State's independent, student-run news source

The Sunflower

OPINION: How to talk politics with children: you don’t

Cheyanne Tull

Growing up, I think most of us heard our parents discussing politics at some point, or we heard about it from somewhere. Should those conversations be had in private by adults or should children be educated younger?

I believe children will ask political questions if politics are brought up in their presence. This can be avoided by simply not bringing them up around children when they are too young to understand how it works.  I think it would be great for those topics to stay out of the earshot of children.

The critical thinking skills of a child are not as developed as an adult. Children naturally ask questions, so politics absolutely are something that could come up in conversation. Approaching politics in a way that youth will understand is important when discussing something as complex as politics and legal systems.

Beliefs and morals usually get passed down generationally. It is hard to be the one to change those views and teach those views differently. It is no wonder why politically active parents teach their children the same views.I grew up with a non-opinionated father and an over-opinionated mother. Neither of them really talked politically. No right or left side views were shared – they didn’t really keep up with politics.

I went to a small conservative high school filled with Donald Trump supporters galore. Many of my classmates and students in my student body didn’t understand politics or how the government works. After all, we didn’t take a government class until senior year. They learned politics from their church family and their parents. My mom shared things she learned throughout her childhood and said we deserved to be kids and that was our first priority. As we got older, she discouraged us from getting involved with politics if we weren’t ready to fully understand how they worked.

Many problems come from youth misunderstanding and mishearing what they hear their parents say. In turn, they repeat those things. Many children and teenagers glorify the things their parents say because they believe them over actual news and their own research. On top of this, school systems don’t go in depth when it comes to politics and the United States legal system on the federal and state levels. 

Once they get older and ask questions, then you can open up a discussion. I also think it depends on each person to educate themselves and learn more about how things work politically.

Let kids play with their toys when they are children and talk politics and have other mature conversations after dinner when they get older.

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About the Contributor
Cheyanne Tull, Reporter
Cheyanne Tull is a first year reporter, photographer and illustrator for The Sunflower. Tull is double majoring in graphic design and journalism & media production. She hopes to work for outdoor publications in the future combining creativity, nature, and rock climbing. Tull uses she/her pronouns.

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