11.03.2008

Election Issues and Unschooling

It has been an interesting few weeks as our family gears up for the election. We are a family to discuss just about anything, and I like to think that as parents, dh and I are pretty open to the opinions of each of our children. I'm registered xxx, and dh is registered xxx, and honestly we neither one fit completely into the ideology of any party line. But we have our opinions, and while we neither one like to debate (dh just doesn't bring up anything, and I tend to argue the opposite of what anyone says, regardless of my own opinion, nice, huh? don't you wish I lived closer? I'm sure it annoys friends and family both) I do like to talk with my children and ask them why they believe this issue is more important than that one, or why this candidate fits their purposeful view of government better than the other.

Nothing pleases me more than to hear that they are discussing politics on their local kids' support group. Without outing my children's beliefs, my oldest son has spent a great deal of time researching issues and what each candidate has expressly said or voted for while in office.  I love that he posted support for one candidate based on his economic policies, but when others were dissing the opposite candidate, he asked them for a specific reason why they disliked him. And he specifically requested a reason outside of their parent's regard. :-)

I like to think that it's a good thing, that he's been raised hearing me express doubts about my own position. That he has been allowed to develop his own belief system, one that will keep him in good standing as far as humanity goes. I think I've kindly questioned his statements (even ones that he is parroting from me!), while taking his opinion seriously...maybe a fine line between unconditional support and requiring him to think about it.  I read a question "Why don't children understand politics?" The only answer following stated that children were too simple minded and self-centered. I could not believe it! How about the reason most kids don't understand politics is because the parents don't understand them either, and even those of us with a rudimentary understanding (thanks to college government, which I took TWICE) have a hard time breaking it down into concepts that kids can understand. Those who have a good grasp have a hard time setting aside their personal biases long enough to let their children ruminate on the process. But it goes way beyond knowing politics and how the government works (can you say pork barrel?). It has so much to do with logic and history and also learning to follow your heart. And a lot to do with finding a reason outside of our parent's regard. :-P

1 comment:

Sharon said...

I really enjoyed this post... you are an awesome momma!