Should Nannies Share Their Own Political Beliefs With the Children in Their Care?

Presidential Campaign 2012

I overheard that the local teachers in the elementary school district not allowed to share their personal political opinions in class. They are allowed to teach history of course, but not try to sway kids to follow a liberal or conservative, democratic or republican view point.

I have not shared the same political philosophies with all of the parents who have hired me as a full-time nanny. That is often the case between most employee and employer relationships. Of course, we all have the first amendment right to share our own political beliefs. But, should we share our own political opinions with the children under our care?


  1. Lisa:I have honestly learned because of my own stances on things to be more aware in an interview process of what I think a family's ideaology is in many things. It might be about religion, other hot bed political topics, etc. I have worked for people all over the place, and some of it has been uncomfortable. I also have worked for several military families that are all over the place on politics and such. (one dad was Gay and obviously had strong feelings on DADT, the one following him was more conservative, and my current bosses are in the middle) They also though have let me take some time off to attend some protests. My charges were aware that I was doing this and old enough to ask about it, and my bosses didn't mind me explaining what was up. Of course I did it diplomatically. Probably because they witness things all the time by being stationed in the Pentagon, and I think they realize it is a disservice to their kids not to be exposed to politics. Because politics does impact their lives in many ways.Terry:No! Kids do not care about politics! All they want to do is have your attention, play and have fun learning new and interesting things!! :)Nancy:I mostly keep my political views outside of work. Some of my bosses have been vocal about political views others I lived with 5 years and never had any idea. Same with religion. My employers all know my religion but I never talk much about it unless they ask a question. My very favorite family is atheist. Lately the children have started asking me my beliefs on death. My contract ask me not to discuss religion with the children. So when the 5 year old ask me if I believe there is a heaven. I just said "I hope so". But I said "lots of people have different beliefs". He said "I don't believe in heaven". Then he said "This is not an appropriate topic we should discuss." I told his Dad who just said that his son talks to me more than other people because he feels comfortable. He said he is glad for that. We are a long way from Washington so I don't think politics are as heavy on the children's minds.

  2. Lisa:Terry my charge is in 4th Grade where she is learning about American History, it's just been the American Revolutionary War and it's heading toward the Civil War as we are entering Black History Month. While she doesn't fixiate on politics, she is interested in connecting where we came from to where we are or aren't in the country. Learning politics and history is interesting to her. And well, I grew up in a family myself that was into History and Politics, we are talking daily dinnertime discussion. I still had a fun childhood and played too.Stephanie:In my first few jobs I kept quiet. It was obvious my employer's and I disagreed. Everyone knows who I support now. I'm not hiding it, I have a fundraising page for the candidate I support. But, I have never, ever said anything negative, angry, or mad about politics with kids. I'm trying not to talk about the topic in front of the kids. When Nana visits we talk about politics very respectfully but I don't think the kids have overheard our discussions. I am really trying not to discuss politics in front of the kids but at the same time their Dad had the 12 year old watch the State of the Union and I explained the importance of the innaguration of our first black President as a milestone. I wanted them to try to remember that day to share with their kids when they become parents.

  3. Lisa: When I was a crisis nanny (in homes impacted by death where that subject of afterlife came up in every last one of them) I did actually get to a point where I did disclose in interviews with parents were my belief systems were. Now normally I wouldn't advise that in a typical job. However there is a lot of stress and strain, and very perceptive kids who can pick up on body language even. I have been equally uncomfortable in an Atheist home at that point as I was an Ultra Orthodox Catholic one. Middle of the road is good. ๐Ÿ™‚ For the families and KIDS that were in close allignment with me, it helped to be able to communicate philosophies. I always made it clear to them that whatever they thought was okay, but grief and development a belief is a learning process so there is a lot of questions they want to think through and one is more of a sounding board at that point.Stephanie:I have no problem working for parents following different faiths or political opinions. In your case Lisa Werth sure, you do have to ask the parents and family what they want you to say about death and the after life and respect their wishes. I have ALWAYS said "Your parents believe this….". At times I have said, "Your parents believe this, some people believe this…". That's it. Their kids, what they want.Lisa: And I agree with the comment your kids, what you want. The difficulty comes up when the parenting philosophy is just not in sync at all with who I am. Thus, I have passed on jobs in later years. After learning this did matter and had to leave them. In one it became an ethical matter, where the dad had no problem really hitting his grieving kids because he was given this charge by God. (egads it was out there.) I was thinking I need to call DCFS.Kellye: Kids SHOULD care about politics, and as educators we should make learning about it fun. I am always honest with the kids if they ask my opinion on something. We read books, do activities and talk about the different beliefs. I also stress to them it's important to respect everyone's beliefs.Debbie: I'm upset that religion ALWAYS gets included in discussions of politics. They should be separate. But, America's becoming a religious state it really is. I have to work on not talking about politics in front of the kids.Debbie:It's hard Kellye Couillard because most people aren't actually respectful of others beliefs. We should teach them we can still respect everyone dispite their political or religious beliefs.Stephanie: It's interesting because to teach tolerance for other cultures and religions we teach the kids about them. So it would make sense what you suggest Kellye Couillard that we should teach the kids about the differences not to ignore politics.Lisa:Debbie as someone with really yankee ancestors who believed in the seperation of church and state I do agree completely with the separation of church in state especially when this nation is made up of all types of religion and within those religions different interpretations of that faith that unfortunately sometimes get sucked into political discourse. When I look at the rhetoric coming out of the religious right, I always pause and think I never learned any of this BS in the Sunday School I went to.Debbie:Any extreme is a problem with me actually. Believe it or not! :)LisaMe too. What happened to moderate being the okay thing?Emelie I 100% agree with Terry Gelatt's comment and say no. Kids don't care about politics, especially young children!!! Well said, Terry!

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