JORDANA WITH HER KIDS MARLEY, MADDOX, AND RUBY.
We never talked about politics when I was a kid. It was never the topic of dinner table conversation. My parents are very private and only begrudgingly admitted to being registered democrats after much prying from us kids. I still don’t really know why they were so tight lipped but that’s just the way it was. So when my kids asked me if I was going to vote for Donald Trump, I didn’t hesitate for a minute, and answered honestly. “No.” They cheered. When I asked why they don’t want me to vote for him, my son said, “He’s a bully, and he’s mean.”
How do they know this? From the internet and what they hear from other kids in school. So I guess it’s not enough to discuss homework, school drama, and mean teachers at dinner—now it’s politics. But that’s fine because I don’t want their political diet to come from YouTube and their lab partners. So, here we go. Being a radio talk show host I do know about the candidates, so I was ready to engage, but not in the way you may think. I was more interested in listening to the kids discuss the election than spewing my political views. It was eye opening.
Maddox (my 10-year-old son) said, “I would vote for Bernie Sanders because he wants to make public colleges free for everyone, and I think college should be free.” Maddox continued, “Also Bernie’s old and old people don’t lie as much as younger people so I can trust him.”
Ruby (my 8-year-old daughter) said, “I hope Hilary doesn’t win. Because if she does and she screws up people are going to blame it on her gender.”
My head nearly exploded but I tried to stay calm when I asked her, “Where did you hear that?”
Ruby replied, “The babysitter.”
Marley (my 12-year-old daughter) said, “I’m so glad I don’t have to make these decisions yet. May I be excused, I need to Snapchat.”
She was not excused and the rest of the conversation was brief, about how to educate ourselves on what issues are important to each of us. (I also addressed the Hilary comment.) I’m still struggling with how much of my own personal opinions to share but I loved hearing theirs. Their questions pushed me to educate myself even further about the issues and candidates, and taught me you can have a civil conversation about politics around the dinner table. I hope to have many more.
This week I wish you an open mind and equally open minded people with whom to talk politics.