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Controversy and Over-Reaction

I have to throw in my two cents with the rest of the country. It seems unbelievable that a speech from our FREELY ELECTED president would cause such a controversy. President Obama created what could arguably be called a revival in politics during our last election. Young and old alike were drawn to his vision and charisma.

Like every other president, he has plans that won't always work out as planned. And frankly, we all know he walked into a bum situation. But he has indelibly marked the history books with a new era, not the least of which that an African American is in the White House. And so now the speech... I just don't see the problem. (I have friends that disagree.)

For our children to be privileged to see their president on live television speaking to them in a personal way seems like something any parent should be glad for. Doing it in the evening is going to miss so many students, and perhaps the ones who would benefit most from hearing such a message. When did we become so cynical to think that the main reason for our president to address school-aged students is to bolster his own political agenda? Are we so jaded as to think that he would have no good intentions for the future of the country that he loves enough to serve in the highest position?

Our job as parents has and will continue to be to help our children make good choices and think for themselves. We don't hear what the teachers are teaching each day! Maybe you don't agree with what the text books say about sex education or evolution, but you probably aren't pulling them out of school over that (granted, some do). Instead, you are taking that information and doing a second round of teaching at home. You instill values that you believe are appropriate on your time.

Example: If my six year old is learning about how polliwogs become frogs, she's either going to be excited about it and come to tell me about it OR forget about the whole thing before she gets home. Now, if she is excited and comes home telling me that her teacher said polliwogs become turtles... well I'm going to set her straight (and have a talk with the teacher). THAT is my responsibility as a parent: to follow up on what is being taught to my children and do my best to help them learn, think, and grow as an individual.

So rather than sheltering our children from politics, let's use it as a learning opportunity for all of us, whether our children are six or sixteen. This could be the most interesting conversation you've had with your child in quite some time.

Comments

  1. I talk with all my sons about politics. I'm not concerned about my high school students. They're mature, have reasoning skills that are developed enough to be able to sift through the content and responsibly digest. My concern is more for my younger children. We discuss politics with them, but in a different way. I've read the speech, and I don't see the speech itself as problematic; however, when I wrote my post, I don't know if that was the speech that was originally intended. My response can be found at the following post: http://bluecottonmemory.wordpress.com/2009/09/06/obama-is-not-my-kids-mama/

    By the way, I consider all day long "my time" when it comes to my children. If we disagree with the curriculum about sex, or drugs, we opt out. Then we discuss the topic at home. Evolution is something that we don't pull out for, but we discuss before the school does.

    I so appreciate the tone of your article, the welcoming of civil discussion. Thank you for letting me join in:)

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  2. I appreciate your insights - I'll be checking our your blog too! Thanks and hope to hear from you again soon.

    ReplyDelete

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