Thursday, November 6, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

So this election was a heated one with lots of emotion. My kids attend a school with mostly conservatives however, just because we are Catholics doesn't mean we are all conservatives or that we all vote for conservative {Republican} candidates. The school had a mock election sometime ago and that started many political conversations between my kids and I. The first conversations were about Hillary Clinton {Sarah wanted her because she was a girl) and Obama and then for the last few month were about Obama and McCain. At one point something derogatory was said at school and repeated to me about the candidate I wasn't voting for and although he wasn't my choice I felt it necessary to chat with my kids about not repeating mean things about people. It was interesting to me just how much emotion about this election trickled down to the kids.

I guess what has me 'musing' about this topic several days after the election is over is that I was in school today reading Time for Kids with the 2nd graders {a few at a time} and one of the kids wouldn't even say the candidates name who he and his family didn't like out loud. And some of the other kids as we were reading drew pictures on the face of the candidate they didn't like. It was an equal opportunity defacement depending on the kid. When I mentioned it to the mom that was helping along with me today she said that they never discussed politics with there kids. It was a moment that made me go Hummmm. They are at that age where there opinions are influenced by both their parents and their peres. In 2nd grade maybe slightly more by there parents. For us, open conversation about both the candidates is what we decided on although I am sure I had more positive things to say about the candidate of my choice. I was open with the kids for the reasons for my choice but assured them it was ok to have a different opinion than me but I know that sharing my choice alone influenced them. As my kids get older I know that they will be influenced more and more by their peres and less by me and I hope we will be able to have meaningful dialog about the things we agree and disagree on in the future.
On election night after Obama had been declared the new President I was walking the kids up for bed time and Emily was trying to clarify who was who and who won. She asked me is Obama the 'brown' one or the 'light' one. I said he is the 'brown' one {after pointing out that my skin is brown too} and she said "Oh, sorry Mom, I voted for him" 

You and a lot of other people Em. Change is hard - open heart and open mind.

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