My son is around 3.5 years old. For more than a year, he has showed the capacity to grapple with sophisticated issues. He understands basic concepts of global warming, poverty, war etc. He listens to a ton of NPR (because we like listening to it) and i have noticed that he really listens and asks questions about what he hears. My wife talked to him about the situation in Iraq because he asked. I have talked to him about global warming and the dying polar bears, and we also share with him our own problems (financial, job-related etc). Yesterday, we passed by a mock RIP Prop 8 - Equal Rights sign under the highway. My wife and I talked about it briefly. He was all ears and wanted to know all about it. My wife explained it to him.
I started to worry about whether we are teaching him more than he really needs to know at this age. Would there be developmental problems when he grows up? Emotional? I always encourage him to think about the issues from his perspective but since these are subjective issues we are talking about and we are explaining them from our perspective, does it constitute brain-washing? Where do we draw the line?