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Role Models for Kids: Are Politicians Positive Role Models for Our Kids?

Updated on November 6, 2015
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Marissa is the writer of ThePracticalMommy and the blog Mommy Knows What's Best. She is a stay-at-home mom to four and was a teacher.

Are Politicians Good Role Models for Kids?

Are Politicians Good Role Models for Kids?
Are Politicians Good Role Models for Kids? | Source

Role Models for Our Children: Politicians?

Children are like clay—they can be easily molded and shaped by everything that they witness in their environment. Parents and teachers can attest that children ever so quickly learn how to act and react from all those around them: their parents, other children, family members, TV stars, movie stars, sports stars, and politicians.

Sometimes those role models are not exactly kid-friendly. We know this due to the myriads of celebrities or sports stars who have committed crimes or have disgraced themselves in the public spotlight. Lately, I find it to be true especially of politicians and people seeking power who plaster their images all over the TV, billboards, and other social mediums.

What exactly do politicians do that is so bad for our children? Aren’t these women and men who want to make our nation or lives better with their positions of power?

‘Power’ is the problem. Once the thought of it seeps into a person’s veins, it takes over, making the person do whatever it takes to maintain that level of life. Usually, this is exemplified in the ads that take over the airwaves or the information highway.

Note: Not all politicians fall into this category, but you have to admit, in recent years, the ads have become worse than ever.

Political Campaigns

What is your view of political campaign methods?

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Politicians' Behavior : Good for Kids?

During campaigns or during an election year, we are bombarded with these ads either portraying a politician as a good guy or slamming the competition with disdain. What does this teach our children?

1. It’s okay to point out another person’s flaws in public, as long as you make yourself seem better. Think of the ads you have seen or heard. “Candidate So-and-So does not respect the law. Just look at this pile of speeding tickets! The nerve of a public servant! I, however, have a clean and respectable driving record.” Yes, that may be true. It is very important to respect the law, but is it necessary to point out another person’s mistakes in public just to make yourself seem better? This is how it would translate in a childhood situation: Little Johnny is with a group of friends, but Danny wants in. He approaches the group and proudly proclaims, “Johnny didn’t learn to tie his own shoes until he was six, but I learned to tie my own shoes all by myself when I was five!” To his group of friends, Johnny now looks like a loser while Danny looks like the better friend.

2. It’s acceptable to call each other names. “Candidate So-and-So is a liar, a slug, and a fool. Why elect him/her?” Well, you know how this translates in the younger generations. They can’t go five minutes without insulting someone with a name. If full-grown, responsible, respectable adults do it, then why not?

3. It’s fine to continuously say that what another person believes is wrong. You can pick the issue for this one: global warming, taxes, stem-cell research, education, health care, etc. One candidate will always tell you the other candidate in wrong in her/his beliefs about one of these issues. What happened to just having a different opinion about a topic? Aren’t we entitled to our own beliefs? In teenager land, nope. “Look at Sally eating that veggie burger. How stupid is that!” Or “You believe in vampires? You’re so lame!”

4. It’s best to point out that your way is the right and only way. “Raising/lowering taxes is the only way to fix our budget problems. Candidate So-and-So doesn’t know what he/she is talking about. Just look at these statistics…”. With children, this can be seen in the decisions they make about clothing, food, friends, sports, etc. If they choose to follow a friend or group who only plays a certain sport or only wears a certain type of clothing, they are limiting the endless possibilities of how they can spend or experience their childhood.

5. It’s essential to publicly pat yourself on the back when you actually do the right thing in order to attain a goal. You’ve seen the ads:“I have helped the elderly fight for their rights, I have fixed the potholes, I have volunteered at local food banks, I have done this and that and this and that…Vote for me!”. Don’t get me wrong: there’s nothing wrong with being proud of your accomplishments. It’s great that they can do these things, but do they have to flaunt it all to their audience? Shouldn’t their actions speak for themselves? And what about after the campaigns? Do they continue these actions? It’s like a teenager saying “Look. I did the dishes. Now can I go to the party?”. You know that the very next day after the party, with no other party in sight, the same action will not be completed.

Jimmy Kimmel Talks to Kids about Politics

Quotes about Politicians

  • George Washington is the only president who didn't blame the previous administration for his troubles. ~Author Unknown
  • We have, I fear, confused power with greatness. ~Stewart Udall
  • Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author Unknown

Our Job, Our Hope: Guarding Our Children from the Messages of Politicians

Will these things ever stop? I don’t see an end in sight. In fact, as you read the above list, it’s as if politicians are even acting like children, which as we know takes a long time from which to grow up. As parents and teachers or any adult, it is our duty to shield our children from such political ads, perhaps by monitoring TV time or other such means. It is also our duty, as children get older, to explain the methods of politics and how certain actions or words really should not be copied in every day life.

Let’s hope for a day when the methods of politics change. Let’s hope for a day when politicians conduct themselves in a mature, professional manner, showing our children how to properly make positive changes for our future.


Teaching Kids about Politicians and Presidents


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    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 5 years ago from United States

      Sarah, thanks for reading!

    • profile image

      Sarah m 5 years ago

      i agree with you hub because the Politicians are really better role models thank you so much

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      tillsontitan, isn't it sad that there are very few good role models for our kids? I appreciate your comment! Thanks so much for reading. :)

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 6 years ago from New York

      Great hub at an obviously appropriate time! Isn't it a sad world we live in when athletes are no longer role models and now politicians are just name callers? Your hub should be in the "parents' manual." :)

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Kristine Manley, I'm glad you agree. Thanks for reading and commenting! :)

    • Kristine Manley profile image

      Donna Kristine 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I agree with you. Politicians are far from good examples for our children - and you know what? I really don't think they really care about being good role models either. It's quite unfortunate, and I don't think things well improve. Great Hub. Voted Up!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      AudreyHowitt, I'm glad you found my hub to be 'terrific'! :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 6 years ago from California

      I so agree with you in this terrific Hub--Thank you so much!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Lord, I'm glad you agree! This is precisely why I limit my son's exposure to those 15 second ads, even though he's only three. It's very unhealthy to be exposed to that; just take a look at how it affects us as adults!

      Thanks so much for commenting! :)

    • Lord De Cross profile image

      Joseph De Cross 6 years ago from New York

      This is a great hub for these people who think they can govern our lives, but on the other side they just want to get lot of cash return. Campaigns are mudded with deceive and lack of trust. Is unhealthy for our kids, trying to cope and listening to those 15 seconds of nasty attacks!. Wonderful hub! VOTED UP!


    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      shea duane, 'tis the season for dishonesty! Honesty is the best policy, but apparently not for those running for office... Thanks so much for reading and commenting! :)

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      Great hub. The other day I had my car serviced; the TV in the waiting area was set on a political program. A presidential hopeful was being interviewed... funny, he didn't answer a single question. He droned on and on and 'seemed' to be answering questions but was not. If only politicians would just be honest... thanks

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Eiddwen, thank you for reading and for your kind comment. I hope you too have a great day! :)

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 6 years ago from Wales

      Hi The PracticalMommy,

      Thank you for sharing this brilliant hub,I now look forward to reading many more by you.

      Take care and have a great day.


    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      laidbacklady, I appreciate your comment, especially "All the power-mongers just run amok". It's so true. Thanks for reading!

    • laidbacklady profile image

      Linda 6 years ago from Plumsted Township, NJ

      Spot-on, practicalmommy! I hate election years for those very reasons! And as for #3, in the old days it was "agree to disagree," not muck-raking each other. I plan to watch as little television as possible over the next year or so. They all break their arms patting themselves on the back and pointing the finger. As you said, just like children. Thankfully, our children have us to referee. All the power-mongers just run amok. Disgusting. Who do we know that would make a great president? Voted up and interesting!

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      justateacher, don't we all wish that! It'd be nice if they worked to make things better for everyone and not just themselves...Ah. Wouldn't that be nice? Thanks for stopping by again!

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      I just wish someone decent that could (and would) turn our country around would run...I wish everyone would work together to make things better for everyone and not just themselves...I guess I can dream lol

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      justateacher, thanks for commenting! We'll be turning off many ads I'm sure as we're entering a politically charged year... :)

    • justateacher profile image

      LaDena Campbell 6 years ago from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz...

      Great hub...I turn of political ads when I see that they are not in good taste...If I want my child to be influenced by anyone, I want it to be...

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Thanks, fashion, for agreeing and commenting!

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Great hub.I agree that children should not watch politics as their minds are still growing and are impressionable.well done

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      I couldn't agree with you more, Jo-Goldsmith11. I try to distract my son if he is in the TV room when a political commercial comes on. Even at three, he picks up adult banter so easily! Thanks for reading and commenting!

    • Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

      Jo_Goldsmith11 6 years ago

      I think children should not watch politics. Their minds are still growing and are impressionable. I know that as the days go on in Washington, it reminds me of "As the World turns". voted up! very enjoyable read.

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Fashion, I'm glad you agree. Thanks for leaving a comment!

    • profile image

      fashion 6 years ago

      Great hub.I agree with you.Well done

    • ThePracticalMommy profile image

      Marissa 6 years ago from United States

      Ilana, you're right; it does come down to parenting and being role models for our kids. I too hope it's enough! Thanks for reading and commenting. :)

    • Ilana Moore profile image

      Ilana Moore 6 years ago

      P.M., you are so right on target with this one. How can these be the role models that our children are supposed to aspire to? I'm not for aggrandizing super models, movie stars or athletes either, but politicians are supposed to be the "model citizens" (as you point out from their sterling examples of themselves!) What hope do we have?! I guess it comes down to parents being parents and the only real role models that our kids can rely on. Let's just hope it's enough! Great article!

      - Ilana


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