Parents may tell their kids about birds & bees, but many stay mum about politics

While nearly all parents believe they have a responsibility to educate their children about politics, only one in five parents regularly talks to their kids about such political topics as the presidential election and government’s role in health care, according to a new poll from Liberty Mutual, a global insurance company based in Boston.

Another survey finding: More than half of voters say it is important that their children agree with their political views.

Liberty Mutual commissioned the poll as part of its ongoing Responsibility Project, a component of the company’s marketing efforts. Ketchum Global Research and Analytics designed and analyzed this phone survey of 1,546 voters nationwide. The survey was “fielded” by Braun Research in late July, Liberty Mutual said.

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The goal of the survey? To get across the message that civics education is a vital responsibility for everyone, especially parents.

Liberty Mutual’s press release included some insights from the indefatigably quotable Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia Center for Politics.

“Voting is a learned, social behavior,” Sabato said. “If we expect young people to learn to vote, and view voting as an essential responsibility of citizenship, then these skills must be taught. Parents, teachers, and other adults who interact with children and are respected by them, must be role models about political involvement. This is a critical way to teach civic engagement.”