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Will you teach politics to your DC?


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By politics I mean the common negative connotations that are associated with words like 'politicians' and 'politics'. My DC are too young but in the list of what I would want them to learn in future, I am thinking about adding politics as a subject.

 

In my career, I have faced lots of cheating, back-stabbing etc just so that the other person could climb on the corporate ladder. Being a very soft natured person, I tend not to mind it but I don't want this to happen to my DC. I want them to know how to play the game (even if the game is mean?, I am not sure just thinking aloud).

 

I would like to know others opinion on this. Would you be allowing your DC to read books like 'The Prince' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince (when they can handle it, of course). I am just quoting the book's essence here:

 

The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes, such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

 

Please note that I am not writing this for creating a controversy, but just looking for honest opinions and I hope I am not breaking any forum rules (as far as I read).

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By politics I mean the common negative connotations that are associated with words like 'politicians' and 'politics'. My DC are too young but in the list of what I would want them to learn in future, I am thinking about adding politics as a subject.

 

In my career, I have faced lots of cheating, back-stabbing etc just so that the other person could climb on the corporate ladder. Being a very soft natured person, I tend not to mind it but I don't want this to happen to my DC. I want them to know how to play the game (even if the game is mean?, I am not sure just thinking aloud).

 

I would like to know others opinion on this. Would you be allowing your DC to read books like 'The Prince' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Prince (when they can handle it, of course). I am just quoting the book's essence here:

 

The descriptions within The Prince have the general theme of accepting that the aims of princes, such as glory, and indeed survival, can justify the use of immoral means to achieve those ends.

 

Please note that I am not writing this for creating a controversy, but just looking for honest opinions and I hope I am not breaking any forum rules (as far as I read).

 

There are two questions I see in your post and the answer is different for each one. Yes, we teach and regularly discuss politics and political behavior, the reasons behind platforms, and what we believe to be the correct way to view it (as well as the "other side" when it is not a moral issue such as abortion). Unless you are not a voter and do not engage in *any* form of political life then I don't see how you could avoid it even if you wanted to! Kids ask questions. I take my children with me when I vote. My oldest reads the ballots and voter information I receive and she can't wait to vote next year. We discuss the issues together.

 

As for the ideas in The Prince, I don't agree with them at all. I believe that immoral choices and immoral means do not justify the ends. I happen to agree with John Adams when he says this: “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

 

ETA: To clarify, if my dc wished to read The Prince, I would have no issue with it, but I am not assigning the book.

 

:001_smile:

Edited by Kate CA
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Some of 'The Prince', if I remember rightly, is about what we might call 'people skills', which is important, and yes, there, I will guide them as best I can. However, I would always want them to be true to themselves.

 

Otherwise, I won't teach them to be 'political', because I believe such manipulation can lead people to justify immoral behaviour. Maybe I'm an idealist, but I teach my children to live by what I consider to be high moral principles. I believe in 'do as you would be done by'. However many times I get walked over, I will cling to that belief until the day I die. Instead I try to teach them to value themselves highly, I try to instil a toughness, a resilience that will enable them to keep fighting back when they're knocked down.

 

DH, on the other hand, is a product of the English 'Public School' system (different to the American public school), and 'politics' comes as easily to him as breathing, I'm sure some of that will rub off :glare:.

Edited by Cassy
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Teach them politics? From the cradle. When Dd8 was just learning to read, she practiced by sounding out the names and bios of the politicians I was researching during the last presidential primaries.

 

One of my assignments in college was to add a chapter to The Prince. My teacher thought I hit it spot on. I wonder what that says about me.:tongue_smilie: Seriously, though, reading Machiavelli isn't endorsing his ideas. I haven't thought through high school reading lists, but The Prince will probably be read in our home.

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My brother is a politics nut. My kids have been witness to many a long rant, and they can't even speak full sentences yet.

 

If life goes according to my plan, ha ha, we'll be studying the Australian, UK and US governments (among other things) instead of doing history in high school.

 

Rosie

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Not just the Prince but Hobbes, Marx, Mao, the Constitution, the Federalist Papers, Locke, Rousseau, the list goes on.

 

Not to teach children political theory makes them susceptible to the 30 second TV spot and the "sounds good" lines that we so often hear. I deem a sound study of political theory an essential part of any complete education.

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