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.

needaholliday Sat 20-Apr-13 16:22:43

Pimpmy hippo. Read Seasons in the Sun The Battle for Britain 1974-1979 DOMINIC SANBROOK. you will know who to connect with then.

PimpMyHippo Sat 20-Apr-13 16:16:56

I don't have teenagers but I was one not that long ago, and I had vague ideas of what seemed right to me wrt human rights, the respnsibilites of the state etc, but didn't really know how to connect those to a political party. I was/am more left wing than my parents, and have had some interesting chats with my dad. As I've got older my views have crystallised a bit more but I still never have a clue who to vote for when elections roll round - I can never decide which is the lesser evil! I vote anyway but I do wonder if my uneducated vote is actually less helpful than a no vote at all.

Floralnomad Sat 20-Apr-13 16:07:46

My 20 yr old votes because I've always instilled in mine that if you don't bother to vote you can't complain about what you get ( although where we live my vote is usually a waste of time !) . I wouldn't say he was politically aligned though at the moment .

needaholliday Sat 20-Apr-13 16:03:40

DD1 26 TEACHER"RIGHT WING EURO SCEPTIC TORY" EXCEPT FOR GOVE WHO SHE HATES. Micheal gove is amazing he makes a right wing euro sceptic hate him.

Asinine Sat 20-Apr-13 14:05:03

They are all (ages 14-8)interested in the news and listen to r4 and many of the comedy news review programmes. Oldest two also steal the Sunday paper, and enjoy reading 'the week ' at granny's house. We often debate at dinner, eg last night was 'should the school day be longer, or holidays shorter?' ds 12 was threatening to write to Michael Gove..grin

Politics just comes up in conversation, like 'who pays for library books?' 'why does x go to private school?' or yesterday 'why did they bomb the marathon?' I was the same, interested from an early age.

VerySmallSqueak Sat 20-Apr-13 13:54:27

It's strange really because I was much more of an activist than my parents.I was going on demos independently at about 14.Although my parents basically agreed with my beliefs they wouldn't have taken part in non violent direct action as I did.
I am not sure Wish that my beliefs were sown at home (although they must have been to a point) - I had strong bonds within my local cnd group and womens group from about mid teens - but I do think my sense of right and wrong and sense of independence were bred at home.And a sense of responsibility that I was a part of the whole.

I suppose that is what I am hoping to teach my daughters as they get older rather than a particular political stance.

ByTheSea Sat 20-Apr-13 11:54:40

DSs (17 and 16) aren't terribly political but definitely left-wing and BNP-hating. DD1-13 has very strong left-wing views and I wouldn't be surprised if she chooses to study PPE when she goes to university and make a career in a related field. DD2-10 is very conscious of human rights and equality issues and speaks up loudly when she sees breaches.

We are a Guardian-reading, politics-discussions-at-the-dinner-table, multi-racial, multi-cultural, international family.

SacreBlue Sat 20-Apr-13 11:53:35

Agree with/similar story to Eggs, Need, Zzz & Squirrel

My DS grew up surrounded by campaigns (socio-economic & education mostly) and while he is very aware of these things (more so than who is in govt but he has a grasp on policy-making) his views are more right wing than mine and he is more interested in ethics than politics.

Good to see our kids are engaged with the world in their own capacity - balances out the drinking in park anti-social stereotype of teens smile

WishIdbeenatigermum Sat 20-Apr-13 11:50:58

Mine are all extremely political, in so far as what they say- no signs of actual activism though. I think it's one of those things that are rarely inculcated in a child from school but only from home- even if a child becomes politically opposite to its parents, the seed is sown at home.

DD had to be gently corrected that the correct term is Conservative, or Tory, not Toryscum, as she genuinely thought the party was called. grin blush

Mine are 15 and 17 and both interested in politics and have strong views. Ironically as they are both atheists they both enjoy RE at school because of the philosophy and ethics element.
EggsEggSplat I was a member of CND in the 70s when, as a teenager I genuinely thought the world would end in nuclear war.
DH was always more right wing and has got more so as he gets older.
He expresses his views to the DCs whereas I try to give a balanced explanation. That may have backfired as they seem to agree with their father mostly.sad.
Neither had much idea about the Thatcher era though and wondered what all the fuss was about. Clearly I had failed there as my family and our local area suffered badly as a result of Thatcher's actions.

Startail Sat 20-Apr-13 00:53:20

You only have to look at the way Women are treated in India, Saudi Arabia and 100 other countries to see that you can't let your DDs not vote.

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!

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 00:01:48

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'.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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)

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.

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.

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

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

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