I’m ready for the election to come to a close. I want my vote to count, my opinion to matter, and to have political discussions with rational people. I am not one to force my opinions on others. Frequently I ask people with different opinions to explain their stance to me. I ask not with an agenda of undermining or changing their beliefs. I ask with the goal of learning a new point of view.
Never before could I say that political learning must be censored from my children. And yet I must screen the televised debates, town hall meetings, and other political discourse in advance of my children seeing them. We address questions they have about war, clean water, resources, global warming, poverty… whatever they need to understand. However, when the most recent town hall meeting took place, I banished my children from the room. I was unsure what language and/or topics would come up on prime-time television that could be inappropriate for my kids.
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be using a presidential election to address lessons about body image, assault, respect, and honesty. But trust me, I am using whatever avenues present themselves as launching points for teachable moments.
I feel my children are witnessing a political climate in tail-spin. Is it possible for them to fully understand that what they are seeing is not normal, not acceptable, and hopefully not what the future holds? I don’t want them to think elections are a time to slam other people, yell at televisions (yes, I’m guilty of this), and see people try to share their message through meaningless yet hurtful words.
This election process is not a media show. It’s serious business requiring adults to act like …. adults. Face the issues we need to address and present plans. Not everyone will agree. But we need to focus on the issues important to the people – not just important to one candidate or another.
I have a clear stance in this election and am firmly behind one candidate. I try very diligently to explain why I support my choice over the other through sound logic with factual data. Rising above the ridiculousness I feel is taking place and setting an example of what I expect of my candidate for my children is paramount. They need to see rational arguments and reasoning behind decisions.
We have to find a way to move out of the circus we’ve created before we end up living in a nightmare we invited to happen. Let’s grow up and do this right, which should mean allowing our children to view political discussions on TV. It’s time to address the issues and plan for the future.