Before the August 8th 2017 elections, my daughter gave me so much advice on who to vote for. She specifically narrowed down to the governor and president. Giving me reasons why and why not? She talked about the transport sector as if she owns a fleet of vehicles: Then talked about health and sanitation. She even had opinions on the education sector and what this country really needs. Apparently now she wants to be a politician when she grows older! Now that we are voting again, for the president she is charged up once more! You could think she works for some party and is paid heavily. I used to look at her wondering the source of all this, because I intentionally don’t have a television in my house.
Could it be school? There are days I almost thought she is in a political science class. The information she gets from her classmates is shocking! She knows who is making news and what kind of propaganda is trending. Once I was even given a breakdown of campaign tours and the response of the people on the ground. Then came the campaign songs, she could sing in the shower praising a candidate, and then come out claiming how they must win! I have never seen her support anything like this, not even me.
Could it be me? Could I be the source? When I have conversations with my friends and for a moment we pretend she is not there, or she pretends to be so busy on her phone. Truth be told, sometimes I have found myself in the debates, deeply discussing a politicians move and passionately predicting the future of the nation. Maybe, through this, she has been able to acquire a political stand, speak with so much authority forgetting that she cannot even vote.
Ever engaged children on matter politics? Ever asked them random questions on the elections matters? Well you don’t really have to, the same way grown-ups have their talks and opinions on who is right and who is wrong, who should be president and who should not, children too have very strong opinions. We are passing it on, knowingly and unknowingly.
I believe it is okay for them to know what is happening, they learn in school anyway. But it becomes a problem when they start talking ill of a candidate or a tribe. When they gang up in their classes and start discriminating each other on matters politics, elections or tribe. It becomes a problem when you find children asking each other where they come from before they even know each other’s names. It is worse when at their young age, they already think some tribes are superior than others.
When you lash out at a leader and share your sentiments in their presence, they are being modelled. The future of this nation is being shaped now. We need to be cautious as parents and guardians. The children are listening. They are watching and yes, they are emulating.