Raising a Voter

October 24th, 2012 by Andrea Bennett

A recent survey reveals that parents believe it’s important to civically educate kids, but aren’t doing a good job of it.

Brought to you by Liberty Mutual's
The Responsibility Project

The third presidential debate is set to air on television. Did you watch it? And if you have kids, did you watch it with or without them?

A national survey released by Liberty Mutual’s Responsibility Project suggests that many parents are missing a key opportunity to educate their children about politics. Though 94 percent of parents surveyed say that parents are responsible for educating their kids about politics, only one in five reported that they talk to their kids about the topic.

The phone survey, architected by Ketchum Global Research and Analytics and fielded by Braun Research in July, reached more than 1,500 voters. Ketchum conducted the survey with the intent of starting a conversation about responsible voting in the United States.

While some of the survey results were predictable, others were surprising (view our accompanying infographic detailing survey results). When it comes to political views, more than half of respondents said that it is important to them that their children’s views align with their own, yet only two in five reported that their own parents’ political views had an impact on theirs.

Also, the survey reveals that mothers are more likely that fathers to talk to their children about politics and that mothers are much more apt to bring their children with them to the polls than fathers are.

However, no matter who is putting forth the most effort and doing the best job of educating kids about politics, the survey shows that it is important to impart the values of civic engagement on children. One in three surveyed said that family and friends are their greatest political influences.

Is it important to you that your kids understand the value of civic participation? How did your parents influence you?