Thursday, October 30, 2008

Political Imprinting Begins Earlier Than We Think...

I think this cartoon is funny and interesting at the same time. It got me thinking about children, and how much they absorb from their parents behaviors. So much is not only taught, but caught, in ways we as parents never realize. I learned a great deal from my parents, adopting some of their blended philosophies, but was allowed to explore on my own at the same time. Did I stray back to a similar path as them eventually? Almost always. As I've gotten older, for me I've realized we really are just bit sized, blended versions of those that gave us life.

I bring this up now, because my son is trying to express his own individuality in regards to this hotly contested presidential race, by removing my Obama sign from his window and putting up his own home made version pictured below. My first thought was to take it down while he's at school. But I decided that it's his room, his choice; I need to let him have some freedom of expression of ideas even though they are different from his parents. Every kid wants to stand out in some way. I'll take this over doing drugs any day.

How much of our opinions do we force down our children's throats, sometimes so subtly we don't even know we are doing it? Are we always careful to allow creativity and imagination to develop into a love of learning about new things, of new ideas even if they differ from our own?

It's definitely a fine line. I may of crossed it here. My son now lives with a band of gypsies that happened to be passing through...


8 comments:

Jen said...

This is actually a really great post. When I think about my parents and how they raised me, I definitely see their influence everyday. I was a bit of a rebel child (believe it or not) and tried my hardest to be unique. I hold strong to the values they instilled in me because, in the end, I realize how great they were as parents. However, I had to come up and figure things out on my own. I would say that MOST of my friends growing up were democrats. I had a unique upbringing because of where I lived....we didn't have a lot of money, but somehow were surrounded by very affluant policital figures (I was friends with Lyndon B. Johnson's grand daughter Jen Rob, Senator Reid's children, and many other political democrats). I also grew up in a ward that was heavy with Mormon Democrats (Everytime I go back to DC, I seek out my very very favorite person, Brother Cannon. He is the most kind and loving person...he happens to be a democrat. I guess Dems do have a heart. KIDDING). I really did get both sides of the isle. But, like you, I came back to what my parents have taught me. I feel like they did a great job and I want to pass the same values and morals onto my children and I want to give them the same opportunity I had to formulate their own opinion.

Good for you for letting your son keep up the sign. Everytime my 3 year old sees Barak Obama he says, "Oh, that's Barak Obama mommy, I like him." Even a 3 yr old can recognize him as an engaging individual.

okbushmans said...

I thought Obama had the youth vote! Shocking! I think this post is exactly right. Just like what we were commenting last post. Although I grew up in Rush-ditto household, I can't handle him. I have definitely moved center from my parents, and love to play devil's advocate with them. I think, in general, our generation is a little more open-minded and not as hard-nosed. Maybe it is our youth.
And this morning, I was watching GMA (not a Today fan) and my 4 year old daughter asked, "Who are you voting for?" and I told her John McCain. And followed up with, "and Sarah Palin?" I was SHOCKED!!! They are little sponges! She understands and remembers A LOT more than I expect.

The Bradfords said...

And to think that I considered paying your son to dump the Obama sign. Tell him thanks for saving me the money. Seriously though, I admire you for letting him think for himself, I hope I would do the same if one of my kids put up an Obama sign.

At any rate, you're right about us adopting our parents political ideals. My kids have been asking for a long time who "we" are voting for--meaning that they think they are going to be voting with me, but also their question shows that they trust my political judgment. They are 100% aware of who the candidates are, even in the local races. (They must watch too much TV). I couldn't remember the name of the democrat running for Congress in our district and all 3 of my girls knew who it was immediately. Truth be told, I keep them up on all the issues as I'm raising them to be readers of and contributers to your blog!

I was raised by a serious republican and a mom who votes the way her husband does because she just doesn't care enough to form her own opinions. That always drove me nuts, and although I adpoted a lot of my dad's political ideals, I have voted democrat sometimes. But what my dad doesn't know won't hurt him! Just let him watch Fox News and he's happy.

I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said "Women for Obama". You need one of those! You could put it on your car with super glue so your kids can't take it off!

Lula O said...

Sorry, can't comment yet. Still clutching my chest, moaning and hyperventilating from Jen saying this was a really great post....

Jen said...

I hope you're still clutching your chest on Tues. Maybe you won't be able to make it out to the polls (that is, if you haven't already voted early)! HA! JUST KIDDING

Lula O said...

Beware Bradford lady. Your house might be Obamaized. Too bad Abigail's no longer in my class because she'd be coming home with some fine-looking bumper stickers saying, "Mommy, my teacher said to just go ahead and stick these on our car without asking."

And Jen, too late, I voted on the first day I got my absentee ballot in the mail! Yaa-hoo! My sister just voted yesterday too. She said the lines were sooo long. Already, can you believe it? It's going to be a historic year at the polls. And I suspect Obama will do the best in my state - Idaho - than any Democrat for president has ever done. Not win here mind you, but as in most things, some progress is better than no progress, right ladies?

Jen said...

The day that a Democrat wins Idaho is a day I die of shock. You'll be glad to know that I live in Colorado where Obama is up 11 points. I'm obviously not expecting a win for McCain.

We're droping off our ballots today.

Jen said...

P.S. Even if McCain doesn't win, I did get to vote on Ammendment 48 which defines life as starting a conception......I only hope it passes.