Getting Out the Vote

Yup. That’s my kiddo.

It’s no secret that I’ve always been politically minded and involved. When I had my son, that didn’t change and I probably became even more politically conscious. I strapped him to my back and went out to vote, ran exit polls for Planned Parenthood, and helped campaign on both local and national levels. But more importantly, I did my best to keep an open dialogue with my son about the political process at an age-appropriate level. I taught him the importance of voting as a civic duty, and he’s joined me as I’ve casted my ballot in every election since his birth, even in non-presidential election years.

We’re a family that listens to the local (some might call it progressive) radio show in the morning and NPR at other times while in the car, and I happen to have a 5.5 year old who is a total sponge with really well trained ears, and an inquisitive nature. Something will catch his attention and he’ll ask question after question until he’s satisfied. I’m both proud and – at times – overwhelmed by this particular quality.

So it hasn’t really taken me by surprise that in the last few weeks, most of his questions are related to the election – especially when that’s pretty much all everyone is talking about. Last week after the first debate between President Obama and Mitt Romney, somebody on the radio mentioned Big Bird and the kiddo’s ears perked up big time.

“Big Bird?! Why are they talking about Big Bird?”

We listened to the analysis of the debate together before I answered his questions. By the end of the car ride, EZ was well versed in Romney’s declaration that he’d pull funding from PBS in order to lower the national debt (which, as my pal Joanne Bamberger has explained, is less than a drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of things). Later that evening, I found him still puzzling over what we had talked about earlier.

“Does that mean I won’t get anymore Wild Kratts? He can’t take my Wild Kratts!” I asked.

“I’m sure you’d still get your Wild Kratts. Maybe.”

And that, I thought, was the end of that.

Until yesterday evening when I got an email from EZ’s teacher (who also happens to be a friend of mine from before his days in Kindergarten) that included the following:

E is apparently a VERY passionate Obama supporter. He was telling everyone at snack that Mitt Romney [...] would get rid of Pbs.org so everyone HAD to vote for Obama.

The email went on to say that while she thought it was very cute, that perhaps we could talk to EZ about framing his thoughts in another way, since we never know which way other families lean, and EZ’s enthusiastic emphasis on needing to vote for Obama might leave some kids feeling out of place.

I totally understood what his teacher was saying, and agreed to think about ways to talk about this with EZ, but not before feeling a huge swell of pride that my son took it upon himself, unprompted, to do a little bit of campaigning for the President. Then, I sat down to figure out how to deal with this situation. His teacher certainly wasn’t saying that political talk in school was discouraged (although it did seem clear that EZ was the only kid bring politics up at snack), but that we had to find a way to discuss politics where everyone’s choices felt validated.

Fair enough.

So, while he took his bath, the kiddo and I talked. We talked about how just like we can’t force someone to like the same type of food or music we like, we also can’t do the same for who we feel should be President. I told him that I loved that he thought about these things and that he clearly felt so passionate about this one issue, but that we can find a way to discuss this and also make sure that everyone leaves the conversation having their own opinion. It seemed to go over well – I think. In typical 5.5 year old fashion, he then immediately turned the topic over to his birthday party plans (which, ahem, isn’t until January, but clearly ever-present on his mind) and all political talk ended for the time being.

However, I want to hear from YOU – have your kids broached politics in school or in a similar setting? How did it go? And I would also love any thoughts you might have on additional conversations I could have with the kiddo about politics and how we talk about them. Please leave your thoughts below!

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81 thoughts on “Getting Out the Vote

  1. I think you handled this perfectly. Certain topics are inappropriate in some situations, and I would say both politics and religion fall into that category on the kindergarten playground.

    • The kiddo actually goes to a Jewish day school, so I figure religion is part & parcel on the playground, ha! We had another talk on the ride in this AM (you know how those 5 year old memories can be…) and I think he gets how to talk about his love for Obama without stepping on his friends’ opinions.

  2. We’re trying the same thing, to find the balance between support of our candidate (and our issues, as we have quite a few local things that we’re uber-passionate about) and respect for others’ rights to support as they see fit. I know adults who have a hard time finding the balance, so I don’t really feel bad that my not-quite-seven-year-old struggles with finding it as well. Though, to be fair, he does better than a lot of adults I know!

    • Yes! I thought the same thing about how I’ve seen adults have a much harder time (in the workplace, at the grocery store, wherever) contain their enthusiasm for politics. And, to be honest – I’m thrilled that my son is taking an interest in politics and is so passionate (I’d much rather this “problem” than him being apathetic to the whole thing!).

      This also sparked a great conversation about voting and why it’s so important that we have the right to vote and what that means, etc…

  3. I actually really disagree with the idea “that we had to find a way to discuss politics where everyone’s choices felt validated.” I understand that it is easier for teachers when these issues stay away, and I understand that being rude or cruel is not okay. (It doesn’t sound like your child was rude or cruel to other children, though, just passionate–and factually accurate in terms of the likely fallout of a Romney presidency.) But “everyone’s choice” isn’t somehow equally valid.

    Here in MN, we’ll be voting soon on a proposed constitutional amendment to define marriage as between one man and one woman. Noah (6) is appalled. I have no desire to teach him that he needs to make people feel comfortable about wanting to discriminate against gay people, against families we know personally and love. Polite is good, but *good* is also good, you know?

    I get that there are social tensions to navigate here. But I dislike schools’ typical framing of political values as roughly the same as preferred ice cream flavors.

    • No, he definitely wasn’t rude or cruel, just very vocal ;)

      I think it was more of a “how do we deal with this in Kindergarten, where not everyone is aware of the issues.”

      I want my son to be passionate about various issues that mean a lot to him – but I also want him to be aware enough to express that passion without denigrating anybody else. I don’t think that’s what happened here at all, but it certainly got me thinking on a larger scale. I know I’m less likely to listen to somebody who is more combative or argumentative then somebody who expresses their ideologies in a passionate but engaging way, you know? So any tips for getting that one through to a 5 year old – I’m all ears!

      • “I think it was more of a “how do we deal with this in Kindergarten, where not everyone is aware of the issues.””

        I’d say the same is also true of society as a whole.

        More importantly though I agree with the point Molly raises, that not all views are laudable or ‘good’. You say on one hand that “we [have] to find a way to discuss politics where everyone’s choices felt validated” and yet surely this claim is contradictory?

        If we MUST accept/respect everybody’s views then surely you’re forcing THAT view on everyone? In short, your tolerance is intolerant to intolerance and as such is no longer tolerant.

        I apologise if that seems somewhat complex/weird but I dislike the modern obsession with placing tolerance and democracy on some sort of moral pedestal and then saying everyone else has to support these values. At the end of the day there are a great number of very ignorant and/or stupid people in this world and accepting the bigoted/harmful views of some of these individuals is in no way laudable.

        You asked at the end of your article for other suggested topics of conversation with your son. If it’s OK with you then I would actually suggest a discussion on the merits and demerits of democracy and if you’re serious about such a discussion then I would recommend this article as a thought provoking introduction to the other side of the argument: ‘The Right to a Competent Electorate’ by Jason Brennan. Just search it on Google, it’s the first one that comes up.

      • Ah, but I don’t say anywhere that we need to “accept” others’ views, but respect their right to have them. I’m certainly not suggesting that he agree with them to maintain status quo/peace in the classroom. But I am hoping to instill in him the value of being open to the fact that other people have differing feelings on things. They may not be right but they have the right to differ from you.

        Sent from my iPhone

      • “Respect their right to have them”,

        “being open to the fact that other people have differing feelings on things”

        I would argue the second of your objectives is the better one to teach our children.
        Teaching them to RESPECT differences of opinion suggests attributing a positive connotation to this difference. Personally, I accept that there are differences of opinion but do not apply much, if any, positive connotation to this. I accept it as a matter of fact and at times even consider it to be a bad thing, especially when those individuals possess the ability to enforce those beliefs on the rest of us by the means of democracy. People may well have some sort of ‘right’ to a different opinion but in some cases this is a bad, not good thing.

  4. What an interesting situation and great learning moment for your son. The best leaders and activists are able to see both sides of an issue and pursuade people in a way that makes them feel inspired and included. I admire that your son spoke his feelings on an issue but it is stll a great moment to teach him about advocacy and respect. Interestingly, if the other children had an opinion on the matter, it could have been a great discussion.

    • I think the tricky part with this particular situation in that the kids involved are all 5/6 so depending on their own home lives might not even be exposed to the same topics, making dialogue/discussion difficult. But I’ve totally embraced it as a learning moment for both myself an my son!

      Sent from my iPhone

  5. I think you handled this wonderfully. My kids and I talk about politics at home which is always interesting since my ex is a Catholic Republican and I’m a Jewish Democrat. They’re older at 13 and 15. And because of the different politically leaning households, have come up with their own opinions but have always been respectful of others’. Interestingly enough, the boy is leaning towards his father and the girl towards me.

    • Thanks! This definitely wasn’t one of those parenting moments they mention in the manual ;) and I always have wondered how parents w/differing political leanings manage things!

      Sent from my iPhone

  6. I agree. You handled this wonderfully. Like you, we talk politics in our family and like you we listen to stations like NPR. We’re Obama supporters but we teach our kids that respect and that every single viewpoint is important.
    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with being political, with having political opinions or even expressing strong viewpoints and opinions with regards to politics. This nation was founded on the basis that we have the right to speak our minds.
    But I also think you handled the situation amazingly. I am taking notes in case we are ever in that position. I also think the teacher could have acted as an objective non-partisan voice in the classroom and that there would have been nothing wrong with her talking to the students about the fact that every person is entitled to a political viewpoint.

    Excellent post.

  7. I come from a family that was very divided politically. My dad was a staunch democrat and my mom was a conservative republican. The awesome thing I remember from my childhood is that my parents could always discuss the issues without it getting heated. I remember hearing both sides of issues right in my living room as my parents discussed them. They made it OK for us to explore and form our own opinions. And, that we needed to respect others’ opinions was a given.

    For our kids…

    My husband has watched all of the debates with our 11YO son and instead of sharing his opinions first, has asked him questions to help him form his own thoughts. Sometimes, the questions have left him undecided and in the middle. But, he’s making up his mind. It’s been a great process for him to go through and for us to watch. We have pointed out how it’s important to be respectful of everyone’s opinions and choices, but it’s also important to identify what is most important to you and where you stand.

    Great post!

  8. My son is in high school and heavily involved in politics. Opposite situation here–in his legal/historical academy he gets yelled at if he expresses a viewpoint different than the liberal majority. Because he’s a smart guy, he gets his point across and his teacher respects him. Win. No matter what side of the fence our kids are on, it’s great that they become hands-on and involved in the process. Go them! The future is brighter!

    • That’s so great that your son stays true to his convictions and is able to share his views in a respectful manner. I used to teach high school social studies and as the teacher, did my best to remain bipartisan in the classroom (but never hid my own political leanings outside of it!) and I would have been thrilled to have a student that thoughtfully wanted to discuss politics – it happened, occasionally ;)

      • Yes, I love seeing the kids active. He started an American club at school as well that has turned out to be truly bipartisan and the kids put most of us (adults) to shame. You must have been a great teacher! Around here, even in AP classes, teachers are pushing their political agendas in all the subjects!

  9. “We talked about how just like we can’t force someone to like the same type of food or music we like, we also can’t do the same for who we feel should be President.” Brilliance. Open mindedness and tolerance for others’ opinions starts at such an early age, and I applaud you for doing your part to teach your son this and for supporting our country the best way you see fit. Great post!

  10. You should inform the child that it not what their country can do for /him / her
    but rather what they can do for their country. He as she must understand, as
    be taught in early stages of development / that they must be willing to give all
    to serve their nation of birth. Thus he she /should fitted with a military uniform
    at early a stage as possible / as daily attending classes upon military warfare
    as learning unarmed / armed combat / thus they are at a early age prepared
    for war / of course its good they learn of politics / the right of using their vote,
    however the ultimate teaching that one always prepared to sacrifice their life
    giving their all in a 24 /7 state of awareness in defense of their nation of birth.

    The other important factor / learning for the child is of their spiritual need that
    of their spiritual development / which attained via meditation / in one’s turning
    the senses inward bringing a unfolding of the spiritual self in great experience.

    I shall write later a further comment as how best attaining spiritual experience
    it not a complicated process it in fact very simple / thus the problem in that of
    of spiritual enlightenment / being it’s so simple in it’s achieving / which makes
    spiritual enlightenment so difficult a task in grasping /people have become so
    complicated / not trusting others they now can’t handle /simplicity /innocence.

  11. I, the kindergarten teacher in question, also think you handled it beautifully. I expect to talk about it with the class as the election gets a little closer and will definitely draw from your post. The tricky thin is, as you pointed out, that *most* children this age simply parrot what they hear their parents say, so there really isn’t the opportunity for a meaningful conversation based on issues.

    • Thanks, Amy! Glad you’ll be talking about this in class in the next few weeks (ack, the election is so close!). I’m sure you know of some great books to help the conversation along!

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  13. I think it’s wonderful that you are exposing him to important issues in the world at an early age…I think it’s a good way to combat the indifference a lot of us grown ups tend to have nowadays :) Great post! I love that he was excited to proclaim what he thinks about things. Congrats on Freshly Pressed!

  14. Hey Mom. Thanks for giving Kiddo the exposure. Kiddo is apparently more aware than many adults at there who would rather talk about how to eat the snacks they consume at lunch time than politics. “o yes, I’ll eat that but let me dab a napkin on it first to rid it of the grease”. Ok, what I’m trying to say here is, thanks for engaging the kid. Maybe whena bit older kiddo will realize how silly our political system. ” I figured that shit out when I was 5 man. Why vote for either”. Take it easy and keep enjoying the inquiries of your youngin

  15. enjoyed your post! It’s hard to navigate – my kids have encountered lots of opinionated kids spouting their parents’ views in class. I’m sure they’ve been guilty of the same. Though it gets harder in high school when you have kids arguing with the science teacher about global warming. Election year must really try the patience of teachers!

    • Thanks so much! And yes, I can only imagine how much harder it gets as they get older. My hope is to provide him with the skills and confidence to stay true to his convictions while still remaining respectful of others!

  16. Words that you used to describe your son, I have used to describe mine. He is seven and a half, and skipped kindergarten…I wouldn’t be surprised if he talked politics on the playground, because he loves talking, and we are discovering how much he loves talking about things we speak of at home, whether or not he fully understands them or not. Our son attends a Christian school, but we of course have many friends who do not share our faith–we are teaching our son, L., to be open about what he believes, but also to frame it in love and respect, to listen well to his friends, and to know why he believes what he does. I think the same approach is appropriate in politics, though we don’t talk about it as much around the dinner table! We try to help L. think through what core values we have as a family, to answer his questions thoughtfully, and to explain to him why we vote one way or another. I applaud your efforts in getting your son to think about things like this, as he seems to be showing many signs of readiness! As Americans, we each ought to have a bit more of a return to the childhood habit of asking “why”…

    • Definitely. While I admit that sometimes the nonstop questions and “why” can get a bit overwhelming and tiresome, I also don’t want him to ever lose that inquisitive nature. If only more parents taught their children to be open to differences and to spread love and respect – right on!

  17. I absolutely agree with teaching your children about politics! Age appropriate of course, but it helps give them ideas of how the “big world” works and it will add to their character building. They can learn early how to be an active member of society, and apathy when it comes to the polls has become far too common!

  18. Your post made me smile because it sounds so much like my own family. My son is 14 now and, because we’re a fairly politicised family, he’s always been really involved with our activism and interested in debating with us. He’s gone all through school being the only kid from a left-leaning, green household in a bastion of conservatism. I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s come home frustrated and angry cos kids at school have abused him for his views — which genuinely are his; having been thought out and debated — while they have been parroting their parents’ views without really understanding them. It’s been so hard on him sometimes to walk his own road and I’m incredibly proud of the intelligent, articulate, thoughtful young man he’s become. It’s great that you’re helping your little one to understand and engage with issues now; he’ll be so much better prepared for adult citizenship.

  19. Let’s see, first I would start by explaining that half a billion ($440 mil) is not a drop in the bucket, then as you stated, NPR being obviously and blatantly progressive, it’s also government funded propaganda, and therefore inherently evil. I would explain that any politically leaning programming, for either side, must survive without taxpayer assistance. This is a no-brainer, of course.

    Next I would explain that Big Bird has a huge market and would survive on his own and would be just fine, while the laughably liberal NPR would see it’s final days, gasping its last breath asking for more money from its listeners, or a rich liberal would buy it and it would limp along for a few years. I would add that liberals like to cart Big Bird out tied to a spit because they know their government funded political programming is indefensible.

    That’d be how I’d handle it.

  20. Your child sounds brilliant, I’m surprised he has any interest in politics whatsoever. I’m more surprised his classmates have any idea what he’s talking about! 5 year olds have come a long way since my time on the playground

  21. i don’t have kids yet, but i just can’t “like” this enough! i often think about how i’ll raise a child – should i talk about politics when he’s little? should i keep those discussions to a minimum and encourage him to find his own thoughts when he’s older? i was raised as a homeschooled fundamentalist christian and through my mid-twenties, morphed into an agnostic-atheist equal-rights-supporting obama-loving feminist. but i guess that’s a different story. :D (my point is, i now feel that i was brainwashed and “believed” things for the first several years of adulthood because i didn’t even know any different… or any better.)

    anyway, i was a little afraid to click on this post from the freshly pressed page, but i’m glad i did. kudos to you and your intelligent, curious, caring little man!

  22. Intriguing. I had just blogged. I had asked “Is what is good for the party, good for America?”

    And I read this.

    So, now I am curious. Is what is bad for the debt only important if it is a large debt? Or, is it just as bad if it is a small debt?

    I never enjoyed Sesame Street as a kid. And I don’t want to discourage children from enjoying Big Bird. My show was Scooby Do. I never did figure out why I liked one and not the other.

    And I know your blog was more about encouraging your young one into politics. So, I don’t know if answering my question would further that or not.

    Kudos to you. Keeping a young one honest and interested is not always an easy task.

    Ghost.

  23. Very cool that your child is taking an interest. This will create a better generation that is actually concerned about what is happening and understands it. I hope that despite stupid divisions like political preference, we can all realize that we are all people, rather than Democrats, Republicans and Moderates. (The latter, I have no understanding of whatsoever) But even though it may make some defensive, it actually makes me a little more open-minded concerning politics. Good night.

  24. My daughter is 11. She voluntarily re-entered public school in order to provide an example among the public of a junk-food free lifestyle to her peers after we researched and learned major food manufacturers are buying into school menus in order to create future generations of perfect customers.

    I take her with me to sign demonstrations and door-to-door campaigning. I believe young people should be included as early as possible in understanding the danger to their persons and personal freedoms as individuals surrounded by a self-empowered government. Just a few days ago she came to ask me what a recent sign for a rally I had constructed meant, “-Is Not- Federal, -Has No- Reserve.” I was honored.

    The thing with raising children, is not to give them the answer, but to show them how to ask the question. If you are cheering, “That bad guy! We’re gonna get him!” – - Then so will the child, that’s their job. If you’re inquiring, “These guys are both pro-war. I wonder if there are any peace candidates?” This teaches the child to investigate opposing or alternative points of view. Or, “Hmm. I wonder who pays for this guy,” that teaches the child to investigate.

    These behaviors, just parent behaviors, can be applied to any subject, like politics, and teaches them an example that they can apply to any subject, whether its their own future politics, current peer relationships, self-counsel, or research.

    Thanks for the great read.

  25. Oh, those 5.5 year olds and their endless politicking. But it’s great that he’s so interested in going above and beyond his civic duty at that age. If George H.W. Bush had claimed he wanted to throw Big Bird out on the streets without a job, I probably would have done the same thing.

  26. Its much like the iceberg far more being hidden than revealed.

    Human beings go from life to life in the ultimate aim of spiritual
    enlightenment. It only via human form one can make progress
    upon upon spiritual enlightenment / such spiritual experience
    as understanding that gained is never lost / its but added unto
    one’s spiritual account. Such spiritual account can’t be stolen
    or lost it the property of each individual as carried life into life.

    Children are children as must be protected as given rightful
    oppertunity of growing in balanced knowledge of the spiritual
    as the material realm / in bringing both to balance /in a clarity
    of understand as to the purposse of creation of the universe
    as to such purpose of the human form in knowing the creator.

    How does one bring a balance of the material as the spiritual ?.

    Such a balance is achieved via meditation turning the senses
    inward in bringing a unfolding of the spiritual self / in one’s far
    greater experience than of one’s focus upon only the material.

    An example of the baby going from breast feed as bottle feed
    thus to more solids for their far greater need of growth… thus
    as it with meditation one turns their senses inward for greater
    spiritual experience (one of course experience’s great power
    of creation in the material (the creation of the universe) / as
    of planet Earth which sustaining life. Yet it be such power of
    creation in material is in much diluted form / via meditation it
    of far greater strength in experience giving one the clarity of
    understanding to the purpose of creation the human journey.

    Throughout the history of humanity there’s spiritual teachers
    among (always) be the “Teacher of Teachers” the “Teacher
    of Teachers” taking one as be one’s guide on their last vital
    stage of development / that of meditation in one turning the
    senses inward unfolding the spiritual self ( it need be added
    one not given anything one’s but helped as be made aware
    of that which having always been in it’s waiting to be known).

    Present times the “Teacher of Teachers” is Prem Rawat…..
    Prem has travelled the world in aid as guide to those whom
    having reached the stage of meditation thus he aids gives
    advise as understanding upon one’s spiritual development
    thus the title the “Teacher of Teachers”. Prem is the most
    gentle as understanding of souls / thus it’s a great honour
    as pleasure to be in his company even if it being ones but
    one of hundreds of thousands / thus if get a opportunity in
    attainding a programme he speaks at / then at least once
    in your life grasp the opportunity/if be such presents itself.

    On pc search put (words of peace) or put (words of peace
    global) on site a selection of videos in which Prem explains
    meditation as explains life its ultimate goal its true purpose.

    If one is ready as feeling the need of such further spiritual
    development / then such opportunity is there. If one is not
    ready for such that they are content as they are / then it
    best be left till a time one’s more of a questioning nature
    unto life its ultimate purpose. People be at varied stages
    of development for some the need of spiritual experience
    be great, for others they are not of such desperate need
    thus one need be most understanding toward the others.

  27. My seventh graders tried to “discuss” the candidates in class and it turned into a shouting match, which I let go for a minute then stopped it. We talked about talking, how nothing will change until we can see the other side’s point of view. The same happens in my house. There are extremes in our family, but we try to understand where the other person is coming from. This is a great post and I’ll be supporting Our Reality–amazing, no other words for it.

  28. I am super-impressed by the fact that he is thinking and more importantly talking about these things… and i totally understand how parents have to start telling their kids whats appropriate to talk about/do in certain kind of people…but to be honest somehow it doesnt come across as the most wonderful idea to me, when a kid has to think twice about what he has to say or should she say this because he s had a conversation about whats appropriate and whats not… i think that has a bearing on their confidence and their questioning abilities…where your questioning abilities really are half the knowledge/intelligence…. and i think when we tell kids about appropriateness, they move more towards an understanding side…they tend to understand a situation more than question it.
    I am not a parent so I cant understand ur position, or suggest anything from an expert point of view, but I have been a kid of the kind who s been conscious of appropriateness…I am in mid twenties now…and it has taken a lot of effort to try and lower down the voice of appropriateness in my head… altho i understand the importance of it, given we are a part of this society and we must know the ethics of being in one… but i always felt myself questioning myself only, and thinking a few times before saying something, while the world had moved on the next topic already…I felt I did suffer at university a little due to this…
    I dont mean to discourage u …but I d love for your kid to speak his heart out; his head shudnt have moral police sirens ringing in them all the time..always stuck between the rights and wrongs of it…I dont want that he realizes after time has passed that he should’ve taken some action instead of sitting their thinking if this is right or wrong …
    Parenting must be such a job, goodluck and congratulations you have such an intelligent kid (mA)…
    ps. ooops i was supposed to comment only, i think i got carried away, this is like a full fledged blog post

  29. Wow…great to see all these kids being exposed to elections and voting. Everyone should be so lucky… and should vote!

    Growing up with a mom who campaigned for everybody from town selectmen to the Kennedys, it was just automatic for me to vote once I came of age. My problem now is the 20-year-old college kid I mentor in South Africa. He lives (and suffers in poverty) under a corrupt ANC ruling party, but he’s already given up on voting as a tool for change — before ever casting a ballot! How do I convince him that voting is worthwhile, even if change doesn’t happen right away? (Surprisingly, the concept of having a post-apartheid right to vote didn’t work!)

  30. The children having combined genetics of the parents
    thus its going to be they’re but superior to the parents
    at least that was my experience with my own children….
    they but looked into my eyes and they knew as I knew
    they were superior beings. Such is evolution in human
    understanding / in human experience over millions of
    millions of light years / humanity having come a long
    way on the journey of knowing creation in its essence.

    Though must be added there’s no need in furthering
    development of love / love is love / love born of one’s
    gratitude the gratitude of being granted the gift of life.

  31. love this story! thank you so much for sharing, you are obviously an awesome Mom! I recently wrote a similar blog entry, and seriously not trying to promote my blog, but I think you’ll find my point of view interesting too. I am an elementary school teacher and I very often have to deal with convo’s like this with kids. I wrote about a situation during the mccain/obama election. If you interested you can read it here: http://positivelypanicked.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/hate/
    Keep on being awesome, can’t wait to check out more of your blog!

  32. I came out to my oldest son when he was nine years old, and his response was, “Dad, everybody’s different.”

    My youngest got upset reading the news during the last presidential election, and wanted to know why they thought that gay marriage would harm the institution of marriage. “Have they seen the divorce rate in this country!” he cried.

    My middle boy took up the gay marriage debate in his current issues class at school, where he was told by his teacher that he had to be more “accepting of other people’s opinions.” He replied, “No. I do not, not when their opinion is wrong. If their opinion is that black people are inferior, or that women shouldn’t vote, or that the world is flat, I do not have to respect such nonsense.”

    Impossible not to be proud of all three of them. :) Thanks for writing this great post. See you on election day!

  33. I think you handled that rather well. Honestly you are possibly lucky that he didn’t run his own Obama campaign by telling everyone that Romney wants to kill Big Bird haha.

    Funny coincidence that I was looking to blog on something pretty similar, but didn’t end up doing it. A daughter of a friend caused a bit of a problem at school during the last shift in Australian political power. Something was on the news about the fact that Julia Gillard for years stood for gay marriage then as soon as she started getting some political clout swapped to the against gay marriage team. When she asked her Mum what “Gay” was she explained it as when two men love each other or two women love each other the way Mummy & Daddy do.

    Next thing my friend gets a call from the school, apparently she was up in arms because Julia Gillard doesn’t want boys to be friends with boys or girls to be friends with girls. Also (she is from a Catholic family) Julia Gillard hates Jesus because Jesus says we should love everyone and Julia says we shouldn’t love everyone. I think there was a lot more in there, something about one of the kids crying because he has 2 Mums and she told him that Julia hated his Mummys.

    Whoo out of the mouths of babes right?! I was crying laughing when my friend told me, but I don’t think she found it quite so funny at the time.

  34. I’m new to the blogosphere so I apologize this is rather late. I think you did a great job in showing your son how to make room for his peers’ opinions. Yes, he’s 5 but he sounds like a very smart kid, and I’m sure he understands respecting other people’s views. Using examples such as music and food was a great idea. I only hope to be able to teach my child as you have! :)

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