As we approach another Presidential election - as well as that of our congressional, legislative and local representatives - the vitriol from both parties seems to be heating to the boiling point. At this time, we need to remember that someone may be listening - someone upon whom we usually want to made a good impression.
That someone would be the children around us.
Kids pattern adult behaviors far more quickly than we realize. Without knowing why, they pick up on our reasoning (or lack of it) and see that as appropriate behavior. If adults resort to name-calling and belittling candidates and members of another party, kids, too, think it's all right to do the same thing.
And we all know that it's not.
Would we normally allow kids to call each other names, poking fun at them and belittling them? Of course not.
So why then do we as adults do it ourselves.
This is a time to set a good example of behavior and citizenship, a time to offer reasoned critiques and their positions, embedded in fact and not fabrications built upon opinion.
The examples we set now will be a pattern for how the kids around us carry on discourse themselves - all the way from the playground as preschoolers to the courtroom if they should choose to enter law - and possibly politics - themselves.
So let's all set a good example, and make facts our stock in trade as we fervently question candidates on the issues, and not just their personalities.
After all, the kids around us will be tomorrow's leaders when we're no longer able to lead ourselves.
And we most certainly want them to be able to lead well.