My daughter spends a lot of time in social studies class talking about current events, which I love. This year, though, that means they're talking a great deal about the race for the presidential nomination, and I don't love the way that's going.
This is the first election in which my 13-year-old has been truly interested. I love that she's interested, but I worry that she'll think this current political climate is normal. Regardless of where you stand, it's fair to say that what we've seen so far is not how the process to determine who wins the nomination usually plays out.
Weird as it has been, the current election season has provided a whole lot of education for my teen. When we were talking about what she has learned (including what the reference to hand size is about), she started offering advice to the candidates. Here is my teen's advice to the presidential candidates.
- Behave. Politicians behave worse than middle schoolers, and that's saying something. My teacher said that if we acted or talked like some of the candidates, we would be sent to the principal's office.
- Calling each other names and jumping on each other isn't the same as talking about the issues, which is what people are actually concerned about.
- You can't just sit there, you have to get yourself in the conversation. You have to make yourself heard. That doesn't mean, though, that you should interrupt someone or speak when you're not supposed to.
- Don't trust the polls. Things don't always go the way you expect.
- It's fine to have a celebrities supporting you, but tell them to not talk about their candidate all the time on social media. It doesn't have to make up every Instagram post.
- Stay on topic. (She wanted me to make it clear that she really doesn't care about Trump's golfing.)
- Don't lie or make up things to get people's votes.
- Respect each other. You don't have to like each other, but respect and liking are different things.
Out of the mouths of babes, er, middle schoolers.
Prior Post: Thoughts on raising adolescents
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