Whether or not we want it, life has given us a teachable moment. Yes, the inauguration.
Unlike years past, the political climate, coupled with 24 hour news, means that even some of our youngest children are navigating issues around leadership, ethics and fairness. Which means that if you are not having these difficult discussions with them, they are very likely having them with their peers, on the playground, and yes, (gasp!) on social media.
Children are hearing (and in some cases experiencing) very adult topics through the lens of a child’s eyes and ears. That filter could leave them blissfully unaware. Or it could take them down paths less desirable by believing exaggerated claims of peers, overhearing comments out of context, or experiencing their own imaginations gone wild.
So whether they are 8 or 18, the reality is that it is important to continue the dialogue. Discover what they know, address their misconceptions, hear their concerns, and support them if and when they need it.
Here are a few resources that can help with what can be difficult conversations:
CNN (Parents, all ages)
Talking to Your Child About the Election (Parents, all ages)
National Education Association (Classroom teachers, all ages)
PK-12 Election Advisory Lesson Plans (Classroom teachers, all ages)
Harvard Graduate School of Education: Politics Front and Center (Classroom teachers, all ages)