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When parents have strong political opinions

Credit: Kidsday staff artist / Casey Chung, Wheatley Heights

Have you ever plopped down on the couch with your parents and a political debate came on TV? One of your parents states an opinion on a certain politician and then your other parent gets in an argument about it. You take this knowledge to school, and then proceed to debate with friends about each candidate based on the information your parents gave you.

In the past two years, I have seen my peers start to argue with people in school about their parent’s ideas, believing those ideas are their own by extension. They may act very aggressively over those opinions, even when they might be wrong or haven’t done their research.

At home, parents may be political enthusiasts and know a lot about each candidate. Sometimes parents project their emotional reaction from things they see on TV. Some kids pick up these opinions as fact and argue with others, not always knowing what they truly mean. This can happen because kids rely on their parents from birth through their teen years, so they assume parents are correct.

Parents are a pure example for their kids, and I believe political arguing isn’t something we really need. Kids might not intend to convey their emotions in such a way, but they might try to use the evidence that they do have to support their theory. What I try to do is respect adult opinions but then do research and form my own.

Meagan Miller’s students, Ivy League School, Smithtown

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