- Family and Parenting
Role Models for Kids: Are Politicians Positive Role Models for Our Kids?
Are Politicians Good Role Models for Kids?
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.
What is your view of political campaign methods?
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.