If you live in the US, and haven’t been under a rock, you know that this election year has been nastier than ever (on both sides).
My husband and I watch the news daily, and our kids are usually somewhere near watching and listening too. My parents never watched the news in front of me, mostly because it wasn’t on 24 hours a day, and they watched the 11:00pm edition, after I was in bed. I don’t remember much about the elections of my youth, but I don’t remember people being as divided as they seem to be the last few elections. My parents never “unfriended” someone just because their political views were different, and I don’t intend to either.
This election coverage has really provided for some teaching moments with our kids:
I want my kids to know that voting is their civic duty and not to be taken lightly.
I want my kids to know that it’s necessary to do their own research before they choose a candidate.
I want them to know they don’t have to vote for who is popular, or who’s winning in the latest poll, because most of the polls are skewed in one way or another, and are not a true representation of the climate anyway.
I want them to learn to choose the candidate that best matches their own principles and beliefs, and not based on their pantsuits or hairstyles.
I want them to be smarter than the media. I want them to be weary of news organizations (both print and broadcast) that steer their headlines in an attempt to grab ratings.
I want them to know it’s okay to disagree with their friends, or even their parents, and know that disagreeing doesn’t mean hating.
I want them to know that for every idiot they see on TV trying to divide us, there are thousands more standing in unity.
I want them to demand more from their news organizations, and that they have the power to change the world for the better.
I want them to know that voting does make a difference; that people fought and died for the privilege and to not take it lightly.
I want them to listen to how candidates answer questions, and that they can make mistakes too.
I want them to put their faith in God not the government, and know that He sees what’s going on, even when we can’t.
I want them to listen with their head but vote with their heart.
And I want them to ask questions…lots and lots of questions…until they get the answers they need.