You can understand the impulse that led Chelsea Clinton tweeted a “sweet” anecdote about her 4 year old son celebrating Joe Biden’s inauguration this week. Certainly, Hillary Clinton’s daughter has plenty of reasons to mark the man’s shameful exit from politics, who spent half a decade vilifying her mother and encouraging his followers to cheer her imprisonment (or worse). That doesn’t mean she should have – and neither should you do it with your own children.

Obviously, the children of politicians and celebrities do not deserve to be attacked, criticized, or scrutinized by the public or the media – whether that be the case Barron Trump, Claudia Conwayor even Chelsea Clinton himself, theirs Right media treatment when she was a child ranks at the top of the list of the most terrifying things Rush Limbaugh said (it’s a really big table).

Clinton seems to realize this – she defended Barron after one criticized conservative media The then President’s Very Tall Tween son, who dresses like … a tween – so she might also realize that she shouldn’t use her own children as mouthpieces to express her personal politics. Because that’s exactly what she does: Little Aidan’s joke may seem particularly worth dividing to his mother, but she should have written the story to her mother instead and given it to her child – who, as a 4-year-old, has no political opinions on anything other than his right to snacks Polling – some goddamn privacy.

Illustration for article titled Dont Tweet the Deep Things Your Kids Are Saying

Not all children are political (and not toddlers)

Speaking of the Clintons, I was about 11 years old during Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign. My parents were staunch Republicans all my life (I grew up listening to conservative car radio instead of music). My main interests at the time were collecting previous issues of Nintendo Power; My political opinions were, shall we say, unformed. My assessment of the Clinton Gore ticket was shaped entirely by what I heard from my parents. So I have to thank them for the shameful reminder that they stayed with a friend and told his parents who support Clinton about it Al Gore was an idiot for only caring about the spotted owl (Political controversies used to be so strange).

I remember my boyfriend’s parents humoring me in a friendly way, but in hindsight I’m pretty sure they paused first to see what kind of little asshole I was (or hit me after I went home was; it’s cool, I deserve it). Mind you, this was when a larger percentage of the political arguments related to substantive issues such as fiscal policy and the environment, rather than whether the other party was consisting of vampire pedophiles who kill babies. At four, Chelsea Clinton’s son isn’t celebrating Joe Biden’s first day in office because he’s excited about his political platform. He does this because he knows his mother is happy that Joe Biden is now president – and praising Biden is probably a great way to get some positive attention from her.

We are all subject to our animal nature, especially when we have malleable brains for young children, which is why it is It is important to be careful how you discuss politics with and around your children. It is in the affirmative to hear your pre-K child ask, “Why does Donald Trump want to destroy America?” (to use a completely hypothetical example that definitely didn’t happen to me) but that doesn’t mean he understands the implications of what he’s asking for (and thank God for that).

“Yes, he is my son [blushing smiley emoji]! “Clinton tweeted – and yes he literally is, and you probably didn’t sit him down to discuss the intricacies of the GOP’s stance on abortion rights.” Talk to your children about your values, make them protest, Making activism a family affair, great– but make sure you are practicing what you are preaching and not training them to repeat healthy bites.

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Don’t assume that your children believe the same things as you do

Studies (like this one quoted in the Atlantic) suggested that Children raised with strong faith are more likely to rebel against them When they grow up, what they say as children certainly cannot be taken at face value. Look at the famous 1961 Bobo doll study, referenced in the aforementioned play Atlantic, which revealed that children would exhibit aggressive behavior towards a stuffed animal if they saw adults do the same first.

To get back to my own youthful political comment, I didn’t really make two screams about Al Gore’s owl obsession, but I did speak to adults and I wanted to sound adult, so I just repeated a few vague political things I’d heard at home . Almost 30 years later, my actual opinions are, shall we say, very different from those of my parents, and I would not welcome to learn that my father spread my comment widely with his friends, let alone the whole world via social media, that didn’t exist (I suppose he could have used the CB radio that he inexplicably had in his car during my childhood).

I am generally against sharing too much about my kids on social media (a topic that Lifehacker has covered quite detailed) and strive never to do this in a public post. You never know when something will go viral and it is our job to protect our children from such improper public scrutiny. Because…

Illustration for article titled Dont Tweet the Deep Things Your Kids Are Saying

You might be embarrassed

I chose Clinton’s example to open this post because she really should know better, but there’s another one from the recent tumultuous political season that makes the point even better: this mother who shared the extremely harrowing story from her daughter, the “Ruthkanda forever!” and making a pose from a Marvel movie immediately after learning of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death. While I’m sure the mother had the best intentions to share this story with the world, the Internet’s reaction to it – passionate support mixed with derisive ridicule and sourdough with absolute vitriol – was completely predictable. And while I don’t think we know exactly how the girl in question is feeling about the attention, I’m confident that she didn’t say it in hopes it would help her mom build social media credits (assuming , she even said it).

Indeed, if I had to place a bet, little Ruthkanda would not be happy if someone googled her for the first time in high school and put two and two together. Her mother should have kept this story in the family. Don’t make the same mistake.