Election Thoughts for Parents
With the midterm elections tomorrow, I thought I would take a moment to share a few thoughts and suggestions for you. As you know, we as a school do not take positions on candidates or issues, other than to encourage all adults to vote. We do believe in the importance of helping students understand democracy and elections, and to cultivate a respect in them for differences and different opinions. Ultimately, we want our students to learn to think independently and express themselves in many aspects of their lives, including national politics.
Unfortunately, the political climate in the United States has deteriorated over the past few years. This strikes at the heart of what it is to be a citizen in a democracy, where we should be able to share our disagreements without being disagreeable. For us at school, we continue to focus on civility, kindness and respect, and we very much appreciate that Community School families—who certainly do not all agree on politics—remain friends regardless of their political differences.
I do have a few suggestions for parents as they interact with their children during this election season:
- First, turn down the volume! Have the TV on a little less, and try to refrain from the extremes of language (“the most important election ever,” “if we lose it’s the end of our country as we know it”) that some have resorted to. Children need reassurance and calm, and need to hear from you that, regardless of the outcome Tuesday, they remain safe and secure.
- Second, talk with your children about the importance of participating in our democracy. Those who came before us fought for our right to vote; we honor their memory, and create a better future, when we help our children become “lifelong voters.”
- Finally, remind your children that you disagree politically with friends and acquaintances at times, but that you still like and respect them. Modeling disagreement without venom or resorting to name calling is an essential lesson to teach our children.
Community School is committed to being a place where all families are welcome. Thank you all for your partnership as we work our way through these difficult times. Together we can help the children here grow into citizens who will work to make the country a better place for all.