Making Your Own Decisions: Adults Should Keep Their Personal Opinions Away From Children

By Daniel Isacksen
D. Isacksen
Children should be given space to form their own opinions without influence from their parents or other adults. Children are like sponges when it comes to learning new information, and when their parents show a clear bias when discussing ideas on politics or other topics, they tend to agree.
Numbers from the National Longitudinal Study of Youth show that children correctly interpret almost 70 percent of their parents political views, and agree with half of those ideas just from hearing their parents mention how they feel.
An article from “The Atlantic” talks about a mother who discusses her political opinions with her two children and is quoted in the article saying, “Both kids already understand that the minimum wage needs to be raised, in fact, my son had to pick a president to do a report on in his third-grade class and wrote an essay about how being able to afford food is a basic human right—that this would be his first initiative were he POTUS.”  
She believes what she is teaching them what is right, however this takes away the children’s ability to ever decide what they think is right and wrong, by forcing her opinions down their throat.
John Wilder is another parent who supports making decisions for his children, at least while living under the same roof. He is quoted in the same Atlantic article saying, “My son, when he was 16, thought he should be able to decide for himself whether or not he would go to church. I explained to him that I agreed with him and when he moved out and was self-supporting, he could certainly make that decision for himself.”
Although religion helps many people in their lives, it isn’t for everyone and forcing it on a child will only make them like it less. It’s more natural for children to find religion on their own and form a relationship with it of their own accord, not their parents’.
Exposing children to current events and giving them ways to educate themselves allows them to evaluate stories for themselves and decide how they feel without being influenced by how their role models feel. Parents often think that they are trying to inform their children, but really they are just telling them their opinions, and not letting them decide how they feel for themselves. The best thing parents can do is give their kids ways to educate themselves so that they can form opinions that are based in factual information.
Far too many times I have seen videos of people confronted about why they hold the position they do on an issue and they have looked completely foolish when they couldn’t answer questions about the topic or even ended up contradicting their own statements while explaining their reasoning. They have taken no time to think about or research the topic, they only agree with it because they have heard others opinions on it and have hopped on the bandwagon. Rather than tell people what to think, they should be shown how to think.
Parents are responsible for raising well-rounded children who know how to seek out information and form educated opinions. It’s important for children to learn these skills in childhood because ignorant children become ignorant adults.