Political Parenting

Parenting right now feels even more overwhelming than usual.  The state of our country is frightening for me, and I'm an adult.  How much do I talk to Jess about?  And how?!  How do I address things that seem unreal to me?  How do I make sure our child is informed while simultaneously not absolutely terrifying her and taking away her childhood?

My mind is racing.  My thoughts are reeling.  I feel so overwhelmed as an individual - how am I supposed to guide myself and her, too?

I refuse to keep silent and keep all of this from her.  I desperately need her to know that her generation is valuable and that they have the ability to enact change within their homes, their schools, their towns, and their country.

I'm not sure how to do this, friends.  I constantly feel like I'm making mistakes - not doing enough, not saying the right things, not communicating the gravity of the situation, or perhaps communicating it too much.

There's no universal right or wrong here.  Teaching children - whether in a parental role or an academic role or in any role, really - is a constant check-in with yourself and your child.

I'm trying so hard. And I'm still going to make mistakes.

It's hard when sometimes whole hours of my day feel consumed with fear and sadness about the state of our country.  It's hard when I'm making phone calls and sending donations and trying to learn as much as I can, but also trying to make sure that the 12-year-old in my home has fun and feels joy and is growing into a confident woman.  Balancing the guilt of how nice it is to watch an episode of The Office as a family with my feeling that I should be doing more RIGHT NOW, right this second, to make sure I'm standing up for the marginalized of our nation.

She helped me make my sign for the Women's March.  We talk about the importance of taking action, of treating others fairly, of using your privilege as a tool to help others.  We talk about equality of genders and fairness and treating others well.  We watch media together on important subjects. We talk openly about the devastating effects of racism and why "feminism" isn't a bad word and what we all, even kids like her, can do about it.

But it doesn't feel like enough.  I don't think it's ever going to feel like enough.

I have no advice here, my friends, just putting this out there because it's hard not to feel like I'm drowning in the unknowing. Like I'm alone in this feeling.

What are you doing?  How are you helping to raise your kids as empowered and proactive in such a scary, broken world?

I'm here and I'm more than ready to listen if you have any advice or ideas.

If not, just know that you're not alone in the chaos. Keep on keepin' on, my friends. We are raising this next generation of citizens - let's do what we can to make sure they grow up in a world as wonderful and diverse as they are.

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