Hurricanes Harvey and Maria and the devastating aftermath, the controversial act of players in the National Football League taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem, and the tensions between the United States and North Korea are all current newsworthy events. As parents, we can use these experiences as paradigms to teach our children significant and valuable life lessons. Engaging our children in conversations about authentic issues broadens their awareness of the world around them. With that awareness comes the freedom for our children to ask questions, identify their biases, and recognize their attitudes.
Awareness of the world around us, leads to an appreciation and curiosity about issues other than those found at our doorsteps and within our zip codes. There is a vast world out there! Use humankind as your exemplar. Discover and consider novel and exciting things with your children through dialogue. Empower your children: widen their perceptions.
By initiating conversations about current events with our children, we as parents provide a safe environment and demonstrate it is acceptable to have these discussions. Moreover, we inspire activism in our children. Our youth are able to become involved in current and global events that may impact their futures and simultaneously begin their journeys of life-long learning. Do not underestimate the power of activism and engagement in the happenings in the world around us.
Regrettably activism is often viewed through a negative lens. Merriam-Webster dictionary defines activism as “a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action“. Stated simply, activism is taking action. Imagine the possibilities if taking action when necessary was the rule as opposed to the exception. What if our children felt empowered to speak up when they inevitably find themselves in a situation where doing the right thing won’t follow the trend? Imagine.
As a fellow parent and educator, I fervently appeal to you to create meaningful, engaging dialogues with your children. Be brave! In the end “A single conversation across the table with a wise man is better than ten years mere study of books.” ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Be your child’s fiercest advocate.