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Parental political views affect those of their children

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Hayfield students were asked to report the correlation between their own political views and those of their parents.

Hayfield students were asked to report the correlation between their own political views and those of their parents.

Minh vu

Minh vu

Hayfield students were asked to report the correlation between their own political views and those of their parents.

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As children grow up, they look to their parents for help and support. As they learn about problems and issues going on in the world from their parents and the news sources their parents trust, they begin to form their own personal opinions. Younger children and teenagers are constantly surrounded by the perspectives of their parents, whether they agree with them or not, and these views shape the way they personally see the world and politics.

Political views are nuanced, and many times these opinions are formed from the view of one’s parents. Junior Isaak Phillips believes that his parents drastically influence his views because they relay all of the political issues that are in the news to him. Teenagers in this day and age learn more about politics from their parents and people they are close to, rather than the news.

“I think where [my parents] affect my views is the information that [they choose to tell me],” Phillips said. “If [my parents] talk about the information in a certain light, then I’m going to see it in that way because that is how I received the information.”

When teens are surrounded by only one side of an argument, they will typically drift more toward that side; opinions are often formed by the way one learns about issues.

“I don’t think [parents] force their opinion on you, but it’s just the fact that this is what you are around,” Phillips said. “The information that you hear is only [one] side of the argument and not necessarily both sides.”

Junior Alison Karels believes that not only parents affect political views, but also location and what news channels are on at home. Evidently, the Alexandria area is considered to be a liberal area, so this could greatly determine what someone’s political view is.

“I grew up with Fox News and [other similar networks], so from a young age, I was taught that is how [all news commentators] see things,” Karels said. “But that didn’t entirely make my political opinion because when I started to think and judge the world for myself, I leaned toward [the conservative] direction because that’s the way I grew up.”

Ignorance is also a key factor in the way young adults view politics. Although children may know generally about many of the well-publicized issues presented in the world, they may not necessarily understand why they are happening and what they mean for the future.

“Kids who are unaware tend to go with their parents’ views because if their parents believe it, then that [must] be right,” Karels said.

Teenagers today are not only influenced by their parents, but also because of the generation they are growing up in. Topics in the news today would have been handled very differently if they occurred at an earlier time.

“I do agree with my parents on some things, but I do disagree with them on a lot more things,” junior Haley Szramoski said. “Maybe it’s because of the generation I grew up in. Socially, our generation is a lot more accepting, at least from a woman’s standpoint, we have a lot more things we can achieve now, and I know that my parents have really ‘old school’ values.”

Although many teens do agree with their parents, there are also students who never based their opinions off of their parents: the influence of their parent’s thoughts haven’t altered their own perspective on politics. Ultimately, it is certain that parents affect the views of their children, but, in the end, it is up to the child to form their own political opinions.

“[Our family] doesn’t talk about politics all that often,” sophomore Ben Tyerar said. “[My political opinions] are very different from my mom and my sister. I’m my own person, so I just think for myself.”

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Parental political views affect those of their children