After watching the presidential debate the other night, I decided to browse a few of NBC's videos. One I came across was about campaign paraphernalia. Among flag-colored cocktails and "VOTE" slippers were baby-onesies expressing support for each political party. I'm not sure how anyone else seeing them reacted, but I grew rather concerned.
Why would parents need or want to make a political statement with their child's clothing? It’s cute to parents or family, but consider the mindset behind it. Dressing a small child in political or religious [based] clothing reflects the desire of the parent for the child to be just like them. The job of parents is not to raise carbon copies, but to teach their children to think critically and form opinions for themselves. It's partly because of this "my way or the highway" attitude that many children grow up to be followers. Many superficially believe what their parents or friends believe without ever giving it real thought.
Parents should keep in mind who their children may grow up to be. If we don't make thoughtful choices, our children may grow to resent us later on. The child with the political t-shirt may grow up to be decidedly anti-part. The boy with the "God Hates Gays" sign may be an atheist. The girl sporting Wicca emblems may be a future Catholic. Regardless of personal beliefs, children direct their own futures. It's not up to us to decide.