Friday, January 20, 2012

My long-time-coming political rant - politics and children

Well - I gotta admit - we here at I Heart Bowheads (that would be me) don't really get terribly riled about stuff. Not a lot of drama. Not a lot of controversy. We (once again me - not sure why I feel the need to explain that) tend to keep it pretty light.

I do have the occasional rant in me and here it goes..........

This is not a rant telling you what to believe.

It is not a rant telling you what party to belong to or what issue you should back.

I will not even be expressing my own political beliefs in this post.

What I am going to rant about is........


Back when I was in my Kindergarten classroom, I would do an election every year. I would talk about the three branches of government, the two major political parties and the election process as a whole. I would always send a note home explaining this to the parents in my classroom as well as assuring them that no political opinions were going to be presented to the class. Only an explanation of the process.

This would often spark a lot of political dialogue with my Kindergartners. This was especially true if it was an election year. As my own children got older, they started to ask questions about the process. My husband and I have been very careful to simply explain the process and what both sides believe. We do not tell our children who we each vote for and there are many times that my husband and I are on the same side of an issue or party aisle but I have to be honest - we are also often on opposite sides and we have talked about that.

That is the bleeping (scuse my language - you can tell that I am starting to get worked up - I am even typing faster;) BEAUTY of America.

The debate

The checks and balances

I encourage you to disagree

I encourage you to vote your own choice and then if you don't win - lobby, talk, picket if you want to to get re-elected next time but for heavens sake.....


No joke - no exaggeration - here are some of the things that children either in my classroom or in my home have asked me.

Mrs. Bowhead- what's a communist? Cuz my Daddy says (such and such political character) is one of those?

Mrs. Bowhead - what's a moron? Cuz my Mommy says (such and such political character) is a big one.

Mommy Mommy - My friend (insert friend's name here) says that if (such and such political character) becomes president he is going to take all of our money!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need money - right? What are we going to do if he takes all of our money?

Mrs. Bowhead - why does (such and such political character) not love everyone? Why do they only love the rich people?

Well my Daddy says that we don't have to listen to him and I don't have to watch his speech on television that is telling me to stay in school and work hard.


Now I could go on and on with the quotes but I believe you get my point. I would also like to remind you before you go getting yourself all riled up that my quotes also go back ten years which (if you will remember) spans both political parties in power.

Like I said - this is not telling you what to believe. This is not telling you what to feel strongly about. This post is telling you what I feel strongly about and you know what I feel strongly about? Do you? Do you? (Can you tell I am typing fast again? Frank the pug is sitting here next to me watching me with some fascination wondering what is happening with the flying fingers but anyway - I digress.......)

Teach your children to respect the system.

Teach your children to respect the OFFICE.

How can you not teach your children to respect the OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES? You do not have to like the man. You do not have to support the party but respect the office. Respect the process.

Use words like.....


Feel strongly about

Let's write a letter to our congressman

Please do not use words like



Dumb as a box of rocks

Remember - your children are listening to you. They are watching you and hate and dis-respect can be learned in the most unlikely of places.

They are standing at your feet in the church hall when you are chatting quietly with your neighbor.

They are playing on the floor of the kitchen while you are on the phone.

They are in the other room while you are cussing (I mean loudly disagreeing) with the TV.

Teach them to debate. Teach them to become involved. Please do not teach them to hate the other side.

The other side, in my humble opinion is what makes the country so great. Because we get to have an other side.......


julie in memphis said...

AMEN, SISTER!!! Sad thing is, the quotes from your students are almost tame anymore (shall we pray for the President's death, anyone?). I can't even listen to the news to find out what our political leaders stand for because our newscasters are so rude. It really scares me... if we can't even respect each other as human beings, what is our country coming to?

La Carter said...

I really enjoyed this post. I will def be linking back to this post when I too discuss how "strongly i feel" about the current political situation. I only have like 1 reader though, so now that I think about it, I am just going to share it on Facebook. That's how strongly I agree with what you have said!

Kristen Wixted said...

Well said. I try to do this, always, with my kids. I don't like any of the negativity between the candidates, and of course there must be negativity in our kids' conversations at school.
Much to discuss at dinner!

Foursons said...

That last sentence says it all. Very well put- your entire post. My husband is terrible about doing exactly what you say in this post. I dare say he is passionate about his beliefs but his passion can turn to ugliness very quickly and he isn't one to keep things to himself. Politics can be an ugly, ugly thing. I hate that.