Do your teens have a political view?

(36 Posts)
inkyfingers Wed 17-Apr-13 17:54:54

Mine seem unconcerned about Mrs Thatcher and funeral etc. we explained to 13 yr old son who asked about left and right wing after all the coverage. No real left wing tendencies with 16 and 18 year old, or political interest. Is this normal, students don't seem to bother much with politics? Is it just the middleaged marching today? FWIW I was sort of left in my 20s.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 18:02:46

My own DC's are 13 too and I usta dmit that I was far more politically engaged than they are. I was already an active memeber of CND and the Labour Party.

But to be honest, I simply co opted my parents' politics, particularly my Dad's who was both a miner and a trade union leader.

It took me many years to question any of those views.

What I'm trying to do with my DC is simply introduce them to various political concepts. I tell them the various permutations of the arguments and try to explain why a person might think x or y. I want to leave space for them to make up their own minds.

Tortington Wed 17-Apr-13 18:16:53

my kids are in their 20's. you may have guessed from some other posts that i have very definate political viewsgrin i'm not quiet about them either.

my eldest son (23) doesn't vote shock [shame] becuase 'they're all the bloody same

my other son - (20) genuinley doesn't care and asked me who he should vote for in up coming elections grin

dd (20) adores a political debate at home and so will vote along a political belief under knowledge she will be evicted if she votes tory

EggsEggSplat Wed 17-Apr-13 18:19:16

DS (14) is interested, and we do discuss political and ethical issues, but I can't say he is particularly politically engaged. At his age I was a veteran of CND and anti-racism marches. But then that was in the Thatcher era...

inkyfingers Wed 17-Apr-13 19:36:29

I wonder if most kids (fortunately, though increasingly less so), have comfortable lives and don't realise that politics is about the society they will be living in. The current gov policies really do affect them and will do for rest of their lives. I worry that cost of education, housing, pensions will be so much higher for my sons. At least think about it and vote or get involved if you don't like what you see!

AtiaoftheJulii Wed 17-Apr-13 20:27:05

Mine (10-16) are all very interested.

usualsuspect Wed 17-Apr-13 20:30:02

My 20 year old DS has had a political view all through his teens.

He has no choice what with me ranting at the Torys constantly grin

DeafLeopard Wed 17-Apr-13 20:32:42

DS 14 tries to watch the news once a day, and has asked some interested questions. He doesn't have a political affiliation as such, but from the opinions that he expresses I can imagine him being a Labour voter when he is older.

ZZZenagain Wed 17-Apr-13 20:33:20

dd does, yes (aged 12). She gave me a long talk on it last night in fact which I was quite surprised about. Didn't realise she thought about it much at all. Might be down to something she has recently read. I would say she is very much a leftie and at the same time big on minority rights. I don't know why but gay rights are very important to her it seems. Perhaps because we have a gay neighbour, maybe that is where it comes from.

Don't think we influence her ideas on politics much tbh

crazynanna Wed 17-Apr-13 20:35:13

DS1 just gets pissed about paying tax..whoevers in power <sigh>

DD1 is left wing..but is at Uni doing International Studies so often argues with me re Socialism

DD2..I am happy to say..is 14 and proving to be a bit of a little Socialist. She's been writing (political) anti-Thatcher statuses on her FB, and is always helping out at school with a particular teacher who is very actively Left Wing. <Proud>

landofsoapandglory Wed 17-Apr-13 20:35:14

Yes mine do.

DS1(18) is very, very interested in politics and doesn't follow the crowd. He reads a lot of newspapers, news websites, and History books, so any opinions he has are educated ones.

DS2(16) doesn't follow a particular party, he is interested in politics and policies and has an opinion on how he sees they affect him, and those around him at the moment.

ZZZenagain Wed 17-Apr-13 20:38:53

don't really discuss politics with dd usually at all.

GoblinGranny Wed 17-Apr-13 20:41:57

DD has very strong political views, but linked to specific policies and causes rather than a party. Like me, she's more of a grassroots protester.
Feminism, minority rights and atheism, so the influences of faith on human rights as a negative.
She's been like this since around 15ish, but they've matured and intensified as she's grown up.
DS feels strongly about the right to be different (minority rights), and is pro-green policies.
Neither of them feel that mainstream parties have anything to offer them, so choose candidates on their local policies. DS isn't bothered about voting.

wordfactory Wed 17-Apr-13 21:04:25

Actually I realise I've done my DC a diservice.

True they are not party political...but they will not stomach racism or homophobia (DS has come to blows with many a mate over this). And DD is an ardent feminist.

cory Wed 17-Apr-13 21:19:19

My teens are more interested in politics than I was at their age and know a lot more. My parents held the view that children should be protected from the news for as long as possible and that politics is not a polite topic of conversation. Even now, if I want to talk politics with my dad I have to creep down to the kitchen really early in the morning before my mum is awake: otherwise she will come up and change the conversation.

Dh and I otoh enjoy talking about current events with the dc. Ds who is just about to turn 13 watches the news and usually knows more about what is going on than I do. He would probably like to have different political views from us to show his independence but can't actually stomach the tories. (Even religion isn't much good to the poor lad as dh and I have different religious views so he can only rebel against one parent at a time)

Dd is 11 and has written a poem about the demise of MT, just because she felt like it, she is interested in the news/politics - but like Custardo dh & me talk politics in front of our dc, we don't always agree, so there is a debate.

When we listen to the news or read about stuff like workfare, the bedroom tax, we always comment on it - my dc know I won't shop in certain shops because of this, but we have talked generally about boycotts (child labour used in chocolate production really upset my ds, 8 yrs old - he used to have tears in his eyes when talking about children, leaving their families to go and work away from home for years, after watching a bbc clip about it - he was doing chocolate as a topic at school). We talk about the divisions in society, we don't support any particular political parties though, but I vote, dh sometimes votes or spoils his ballot.

We talk about the Tories and new Labour - they know our political views, maybe because we talk about it they are interested?

FigAndPear Wed 17-Apr-13 21:29:47

Mine is broadly left wing (14) in as far as she understands any of it, but as any discussion in our house is through that sort of filter, I'm not surprised, and think that she's just absorbing that rather than thinking independently just yet. She knows very little historical context and has trouble understanding concepts of left-wing and right-wing (gets bored if I explain too long!). However, she has strong views on individual issues - again, gay rights crop up quite a lot.

DandyDan Wed 17-Apr-13 21:48:29

we have always talked politics in front of our kids and they have grown up watching the news daily, and with access to a broadsheet newspaper daily. Only the youngest (14) isn't so interested to discuss politics but certainly knows their opinions on things. But the others are heavily into politics, studied politics, follow politics websites and rather despair that their peers don't do the same. One of mine went out door-knocking for the local political candidate of their choice at the last election. Essentially they are socialist in outlook, and certainly know their way around arguments about taxation, voting systems, deregulation, privatisation, the global economy - more than I do. I'm very glad that they are engaged in the issues that affect our lives so much.

Arcticwaffle Thu 18-Apr-13 13:47:21

My 13yo is quite politically aware, general left wing/green tendencies, strong interest in animal rights and human rights in general.

11yo is more aware, likes to watch the news and interested in the political parties, likes to debate, talks about politics at school with friends and teachers. She thinks she'd quite like to be prime minister.

We talk about politics at home a lot, and the dc go to a politically -oriented youth group (woodcraft folk) where they have discussions on politics and sometimes we've taken the dc on demos. So far their politics are, um, totally like their parents' politics. DP and I are raving lefties. . Really the dc are copying all our views still, but I hope that by being interested they will develop their own views in time.

11yo dd does currently contemplate becoming a tory banker to wind us up.

motherstongue Fri 19-Apr-13 19:38:49

Very much like DandyDan at our house too. We too have always let the kids see the news and read the broadsheets. DS aged 14 has been politically aware for about the last 4 years, loves to debate and has a good old rant at just about anything he feels is an injustice. Wants a career in politics so Artic your DD may have some competition. I love the fact that he gets so passionate about politics and although I was interested in politics at his age, I wasn't nearly as informed or motivated. BTW my DD aged 8 watches the news and often asks quite deep questions regarding ongoing current affairs. The death of Maggie certainly created some discussion in our house coming from a former Scottish mining town.

VerySmallSqueak Fri 19-Apr-13 19:49:17

Mine aren't teens yet but I'm interested to see.
My 8 year old asks about stuff in the news and has been very curious about my views on MT over the last couple of weeks.

But although I was extremely political as a teen - I was arrested for the first time on an anti nuclear demonstration at 15 years old - many of my friends couldn't give two hoots.

So I expect it's simply a case that some are interested and some aren't,rather than a sign of the times.

needaholliday Fri 19-Apr-13 23:47:50

one of the things i say to my DD2 15 is that it is important to understand left and right politics,and make your own mind up not what i think "IT WHATS YOU THINK THAT MATTERS" and you must read books from right wing perspective and left wing perspective before you can make a informed idea of where you politics lie.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 20-Apr-13 00:01:48

I agree needaholliday.
I will give my views but I always say 'you might not agree with Mum though,and you will decide for yourself what you believe in'.

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 00:13:46

DD2 (12) isn't interested as far as I know.
DD1(15) takes in everything and will make up her own mind whether to be a very reluctant Conservative like me or something else.

At present they just know that I'm fuming at Gove and the twats at Ofsted and that I'm pretty pissed off at Cameron for CB reforms.

But I'm not a socialist, so what do I teach them about voting when I don't agree with any off them. I'm a feminist, I can't not vote, that's a betrayal of my sisters in the past.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 20-Apr-13 00:33:50

Mmmm.
Know what you mean Startail.
Sometimes it definitely feels like a case of 'don't vote - the government will get in'...
But,like you,to not use my vote is not an option,and my views on this one will be stated very firmly to my DD's!

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