A Boy After My Own (Political) Heart

As the kids age it’s fun to see how their personalities bloom and how they tend to take after one parent or another. My oldest son definitely takes after me with his constant complaints that it’s cold and also being a very picky eater. The other two take after their father in that they like to roam around the house half dressed and will eat anything in sight. My daughter is also very artistic and so is my husband. With the excitement over the election this past week, I proudly saw my son get really into it. Props to his second grade teacher, because they talked a lot about politics in the time leading up to the election. They learned about the candidates and also the historical importance of voting, they even held a mock election the day before our national election day. On Tuesday, my son (who’s 6), really got into the idea of me voting and then hearing the results. He was vested in the outcome because he took part in voting at school, and he wanted his guy to win, of course. I of course was glued to CNN the entire night. While I was on the edge of my seat holding my breath as the results flew in state by state, he was right beside me shouting, “O-Bama, O-Bama, O-Bama!” (I swear I didn’t tell him who to root for, but I have to say I was pleased). I tried my best to explain electoral votes and how each state had different times-zones and end times to voting and that the votes were being counted and it would take a long time to count them. He got more and more into it. He suggested that it would be much easier to count the votes if our country used a giant scale with two sides. Whoever wanted Obama to win should stand on one side, while Romney supporters should stand on the other side, the winner being the heaviest side of course. I was so proud at that moment as I think it’s important to teach kids at a young age about civics and learn about and get interested in the idea of politics. It’s also great that he thinks outside the box for solutions to problems as they arise. Obviously I spare him many specific issue details because of his age, but it was great seeing him be as excited (as I often get fired up) about politics as if it were a sporting event. Early Wednesday morning he jumped out of bed and ran into my room to see who won, jumping up and down in excitement at the mention of results.

Cut to yesterday, my son came home from school disappointed that on the lunch menu it said that they were going to have nachos and a cheese/meat sauce for lunch served by the cafeteria and apparently when he ate, they were out of the chips and he just had to eat the cheese/meat sauce alone. I don’t blame him, that does sound gross and I’d be pissed too, obviously the chips are the best shoveling tools for said cheese/meat sauce. Anyway, on his own accord, he said to me that he wanted to start a petition and have people sign it stating that the cafeteria needed to always serve food that was shown on the menu. If you know me, you know at this point I’m beaming with joy. (My little activist). He also asked me to write an exposé blog about this very important matter and send a link to the cafeteria staff. (My heart is melting) a boy after my own heart for sure! I explained that it probably wasn’t the cafeteria stuff’s fault and they probably don’t read my blog anyway, but I would write about it as it was an important issue indeed. I also encouraged him to ask his teacher to help him pass the petition around the classroom.

I’ve heard people say that kids dont need to think about politics at a young age, what do you think? Also, In what ways do your kids take after you? Any other little budding activists out there?

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3 responses to “A Boy After My Own (Political) Heart

  1. If you don’t need to learn about it at a young age, when exactly are you supposed to learn about it? The insistance that we keep our kids “innocent” of such things is absurd.

    I grew up watching my grandfather yell at the TV every time Reagan was on. My first grade teacher used to parade me around the school so I could do my Reagan and Carter impressions. I was debating politics with my teachers throughout my school career.

    Critical thinking matters when the subject matters. There is no more important civic duty than voting, there is no more important learning than the ability to think critically. These two were meant for each other. Maybe if parents didn’t spend so much time shielding their children from the public square, those children might grow up with a better sense of how to act once in it.

  2. Good for him, and good for you. Aware of your existing surroundings and acting on change if they are not up to your personal par is an important value at any age. Get involved and make it happen. Now, if only we could teach our politicians this.

  3. Most definitely kids learn about politics at a young age. I think we have underestimated how 9/11 has affected the kids who lived through that and everything after it. They experienced a loss of freedom in the name of safety esp when it comes to travel. My son will be going to USMC Boot Camp in Feb. My son in law is in the Army. And there are many more of that generation entering the service than when I was in school. During the last election season the war in Iraq was the most important issue for my son. This time around he expanded the issues that mattered to him. Where the candidates stood on those issues became a nightly discussion at the dinner table. We didn’t always agree with one another and that was the best part because he was thinking and evaluating on his own.

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