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.