Tuesday, September 8, 2009


This week, there was been so much uproar about this speech in the media and out in the blogosphere that it became impossible to ignore. At ScreamFree, we advocate taking a pause before getting reactive in all the things we do, especially when it comes to parenting our children. Apparently, we have a lot of work to do.
Many well meaning parents, got caught up in the tempest and decided not to allow their children to hear President Obama's speech to the schools. From what I can gather, their reasoning had something to do with a fear of "indoctrination" and "socialist ideas".

Now – this is not a blog about politics – this is about something far more important…parenting. So, my main concern as I curiously observed the furious flurry this past week had nothing to do with what the president might or might not say. After all, if I was truly curious, I could simply go to the White House website and read the whole thing in its entirety. My main concern was the attitude of those parents who so vigorously cried foul that their children were being used as targets by the president.

I think that some very well meaning parents missed a golden opportunity. Talk WITH your children instead of AT your children about what it was that they saw. Encourage them to discuss what they agreed with and what they disagreed with in the speech. Instead of sheltering your kids from the big bad world, prepare them for it. That doesn’t include sticking your fingers in your ears and humming to yourself when someone is talking with whom you do not agree.

Teach your children how to disagree with civility, with grace, and with honor instead of with insults. Teach them how even those you may not agree with can, on occasion, teach you something wonderful. Above all, teach them respect for their county, their heritage, and themselves.


Tara said...

Beautifully said! We can learn equally from those we like and do not like.

Sarah said...

Well said, Jenny. I wish everyone would've had the same reaction as you (Or same ACTION).

bloggerdogg said...

If only everyone else in Washington, DC and those who went crazy about the speech before President Obama delivered it would have heeded your advice. Sounds logical doesn't it?

Aud said...

Overall, the President's speech was fine and there was no political scandal to it. That, of course, was only because we complained about President Obama's original plan.

Reports suggest that Obama's initial plan was to promote himself and his political agenda. He was allegedly going to send the wee ones home with marching orders to tell mom and dad to pass healthcare reform.

There was also the study guide that was to be followed-up on by teachers. In the study guide, students were going to be encouraged to write a self-reflective essay on how they could help Obama personally. Thankfully, our noise also scrapped this propaganda from the lesson plans.

Parents didn't want the President using their children to promote his political agenda.

He will be using them for the 2010 Census. You can learn more here: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/census/2009-08-26-census-kits-schools_N.htm

Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose) said...

Thank you for this. Unfortunatley my son's school opted to not allow the kids to view the speech. We are making plans as a family to watch it together later in the week.

Scott and Malisa Johnson said...

The school day ends around three, but children continually learn after the bell rings. Our homes should be places children can ask questions and discuss things with their parents so they can learn to form opinions and ideas. How sad that so many people refused to allow their children to see the speech. So they don't agree with the President... discuss it at dinner, and teach your children how to take a stand.

Tiffanie said...

That's awesome.

Julie said...

Jenny, I soooo miss your good old fashioned common sense. Tell Hal to come speak in Lafayette, visit the rents, and see us. Love ya