IT OCCURS TO ME:
It’s election time….how dandy. Have you enjoyed all the ads on your TV, radio and in your mail? Can’t wait for it to be over, right? Until the next election cycle, anyway.
Politics is at the heart of our democracy, and always has been. (You know this if you’ve read up on US History or….y’know….seen “Hamilton”). Some very recent polling shows more than 80% of respondents believe our country is extremely divided, and perceive that as a detriment. So the good news is….at least there’s agreement on something!
Our democracy was designed to benefit from the clash of ideas. When those clashes devolve into personal attacks – rude, nasty, and decidedly unrelated to the issues – then a few things must be true. 1) The attacker does not have ideas that will sell, and/or 2) The attacker knows personal attacks WILL sell. Either way, it reflects so poorly on all of the adults involved; politicians and voters. How did we let it get this bad? Would we ever tolerate this kind of behavior from our children?
As a citizen, this is annoying and worrisome. As an advocate for raising children to be thoughtful and accountable, and to contribute to their communities, my level of concern is far higher. It’s too easy to foresee a whole generation of kids and young adults absorbing this free-for-all amongst the adults who are supposed to be leaders and concluding this is how disagreements are handled!
So what can parents do? Anything and everything in our power to make sure our kids don’t experience this in a vacuum. They need to hear from us, receive our input and our guidance.
We need to talk with our kids about this. We need to convince them we do NOT support the anger, hatred, and personal attacks. They must know there is a better way to lead and to challenge ideas we oppose. We have to model appropriate conduct in handling disagreements and disputes since we know our kids are watching us for clues.
Our kids do not live in a separate world. They are hearing the same hateful nonsense we are and they lack the experience to process it. We urge you to talk with your kids about this now, and frequently in the future.
One glimmer of exceptional leadership we all saw this year was embodied by many of the students from Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. From those students we received a clear and forceful message. The positions on school safety and gun control they advocate is passionate and controversial, yet expressed in a way that is free of hatred and personal attacks. That is how it should be done. In the absence of role modeling from adults, young people may very well have to lead the way.
Our local newspaper carried an article recently addressing how parents can help their kids navigate this election cycle. If you’d like to read more, you can find that article here.
Shaun Kemp – 11/02, Gabe Miles – 11/03, Aiden Scharff – 11/03, Alexa Velazquez – 11/03, Jack Schwarcz – 11/05, Gabe Newman – 11/07, Connor O’Neil – 11/09, Jordan Taylor – 11/09, Mason Garcia – 11/10, Alex Mc Cloud – 11/11, Owen Lilly – 11/13, Max Keller – 11/14, Jake Oberman – 11/14, Danny Fischer – 11/16, Virginia Romero – 11/17, Noah Foster – 11/18, KB Smith – 11/19, Josh Traub – 11/20, Jack Davison – 11/22, William Crosby – 11/25, Jackson Shaltiel – 11/25, Ben Foley – 11/26, Jack Kriser – 11/27, Dylan Prystowsky – 11/27, Jonathan Vera – 11/27, Mason Miller – 11/28, Ajene Cooks – 11/29.
We have more returning and new campers to tell you about, and some returning staff as well. Exciting times!!
Have a fun November, everyone!
Mike, Leslie & Dustin