As the Democrats are about to square off in their first debate, the Republican presidential candidates have been squaring off since day one. Polls are tracking their appeal to voters, their approval or disapproval of each candidate and their likability. The one thing they haven't been tracking is the affect the candidates are having on young people, from the very young to those about to reach voting age.
The too often outrageous comments made by Donald Trump are followed by a different kind of outrageous by Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, with anger visibly showing in Ted Cruz and verbally building in Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. We're all taking notice and forming our own opinions, but so are our kids.
Any child old enough to view a screen, hold a phone or have access to a computer can hear and see our candidates as well. A Harvard study showed that children as young as three tend to judge an individual's character traits such as trustworthiness and competence simply by looking at a face, and It doesn't change much as they get older. They just hear more. Do we really want our kids to learn that the way you get to be President of the United States, the highest political office in the land, is by bullying, bigotry, prejudice, sexism and anger?
Think big sandbox.
Think role models.