Navigating Politics with Middle Schoolers
A three-part reflection series on parenting middle schoolers during the pandemic on the home front, facing political realities with pre-teens, and practical considerations regarding school re-opening.
“Mama, Mr. Williams (the Principal) is totally unfair! For the Boys’ Junior Varsity and Varsity Basketball teams, he always announces their scores the next day during morning announcements and says ‘Good job,’ or ‘Great effort,’ or ‘Congrats on the win.” But when it was the Girls’ Basketball season, he didn’t say anything during announcements! Why is it like this?!” exclaimed my upset 7th grade daughter in January 2020.
As the rest of 2020 unfolded, it seemed there was no escaping politics – gender equality, COVID-19, racial injustice, the Presidential election and its aftermath – it’s all accessible as soon as kids turn on the tv, listen to the radio, or log-on to the computer for classes. Innocuous as it may have seemed, that incident regarding basketball announcements was my daughter’s introduction into politics. The notion that her team received unfair treatment – that the Principal treated the boys’ team differently from the girls’ team – made my daughter question how the decision was made to include boys but exclude girls. Yup! That’s politics! So how do we navigate politics in a way that is appropriate and responsible with our pre-teens? [Read more…]