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When do you think kids should start learning about politics?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on October 22, 2008

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Photo of Crystal Poull

“I think they should start as soon as they learn to speak. My parents always talked to me about politics, and I can remember being interested in all of the elections I’ve seen in my life.”

Photo of Jake McDaneld

“As soon as they become aware of how much the government actually impacts their lives.”

Photo of Sherry Ford

“I would say as early as 5. That way they can learn how to make choices and weigh options. I think children should be given as many opportunities as possible to make decisions at a very young age.”

Photo of Scott Smith

“Probably when they’re old enough to understand the political process and how to make decisions based on what they believe. In the good old days it seems like that was junior high, but the world is getting younger.”

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nobody1793 9 years, 6 months ago

Kids should learn about government as soon as possible. Politics--or the art of manipulating others for your own gain--is an ugly, dirty business, and should only be taught after you've become old and jaded.

preebo 9 years, 6 months ago

I started teaching my son when he was 4-years-old in 2006. I had him acompany me in the election booth and watch me cast a ballot. I plan on doing the same this year. He also attended the caucuses with my wife and I in February, in the cold rain no less. I want to teach both my son and daughter the importance of participating in our democracy. Not only do I show my son the importance of voting, but I also have him accompany me on canvassing trips as well. He doesn't have to be a Democrat like his ol' man but he just might. My hope is that they will be part of a generation that is not complacent with our government and begin voting right out of the gate.

SMe 9 years, 6 months ago

"Do you all well to learn politics or I'll lay your souls to waste"Well most didn't and look where we are now.

sgtwolverine 9 years, 6 months ago

Never. Don't ruin the kids.But I do agree with nobody1793: kids should learn about government. Not politics -- as sue noted, it's not cool when teachers get into politics -- but government.

jonas 9 years, 6 months ago

I plan on pumping soundwaves of Hannity, Limbaugh, Franken etc. into my wife's uterus. I want my baby to come out with well-reasoned, sound and unbiased opinions.

conservativepunker 9 years, 6 months ago

I think they should learn The Constitution, Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. They also should be taught the 3 branches of Federal Government. But indoctrination as is going on with Obama? No.

Becky 9 years, 6 months ago

When my child gets his first job then he will get his first true lesson in politics. (after that first paycheck)

sunflower_sue 9 years, 6 months ago

They start learning when they see mommy and daddy yelling at the tv during election years.No, seriously...most kids have that "my candidate can beat up your candidate" philosophy in grade school. We think they're not paying attention at that age, but they suck it all in through osmosis. What I really hate is when they come home telling me that their teachers are belching forth editorials in the classroom in an attempt to convince them that their candidate is "the chosen one." (Usually spewing half-truths and out and out falsities.) Don't get me wrong. I hate when they do this even if they like the same candidate that I do.

Boeing 9 years, 6 months ago

Yeah I like the idea of teaching them about government from early in elementary school. However, we have to make sure to teach them the fundamentals, not our own biased views (us being parents, teachers, and others who interact with the children). Let them be educated on the fundamentals and, in time, learn their own views, not just the views they were pushed into. I never knew my parents political views until I was in my early teens, and because of that I came up with my own stances and views, which are sometimes drastically different than my parents...but they are MY views, and what I believe in.

Deja Coffin 9 years, 6 months ago

I think it's never too early to teach kids that not everyone can be trusted and that there are plenty of people in the world that'll lie, cheat, and steal for their own objective. (Whoa, I sound bitter!)

jonas_opines 9 years, 6 months ago

O-Bob: Still down the road, but I'm already a daddy. My boy was a gaoxiao biye de liwu (that's Chinese (pinyin) for "high-school graduation present," and he's 11 now. I haven't had to talk about politics yet, just about religion and afterlife (make up your own mind) and sex (don't think you know anything about sex because you've watched Family Guy and American Dad). I imagine that when we talk about politics it will revolve around my standard message. (don't let ideology trump expert opinion, or blind you to reality)

jonas_opines 9 years, 6 months ago

"But indoctrination? (selective delete) No"Why did you qualify this?

oldvet 9 years, 6 months ago

They should learn about politics and how it impacts their lives about the time they move away from home, get a job, support themselves and begin to pay the tax burden... before that happens, it's just a game...

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