Impressionable minds teaching political science to our children | VailDaily.com
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Impressionable minds teaching political science to our children

Elizabeth Chicoine

If you want to get one profound look at this year’s presidential election, I advise you to read the Oct. 10 edition of The New York Times Magazine. Matt Bai presents an incredible interview entwined with clear, definable differences between the ideologies of George Bush and John Kerry.Busy moms: get this article and read it in small increments. Put it in the car, in the bathroom, your purse, anyplace for those unexpected yet delightful moments. This is, if you will read it to the finish, a clarifying piece of journalism to bring us into the 21st century. No matter what, you will learn about the “new world” that our children will live in long after 2004.Not having the time nor, frankly, the interest to be active politically, I stumbled upon this article. In a rare moment this week, I was able to determine what was playing on the radio in my car because my son was at school and my daughter had fallen asleep during our commute. I picked up pieces of radio commentators deciphering John Kerry’s interview in the Times Magazine. Deprived of “intellectual commentary,” my mother’s mind craved this political dialogue.Having graduated from a liberal arts college “think-tank” nestled at the foot of Pikes Peak, I admit to being one who desires thought, debate, and answers to unanswerable questions. Writing this column has enabled me to revisit those parts of my brain now overshadowed by soccer schedules, school, laundry, and getting from “A” to “B”.Respecting your time, I would never offer a piece to read with a particular political viewpoint. The fundamental points of Mr. Bai’s piece come in the last few pages of the article. Don’t get weary reading before you finish. It is a relatively short bit which speaks volumes about the world that our children will inherit.My views, after reading this, wanted to intermingle all that I once stood for and believed. Reading more, I wanted to emphasize to my children always to think. Not to knee-jerk a response.In parenting, I arrogantly state that I try to let my children form their own opinions; I am merely a guide to keep things in check. But I fall short in this open book theory. A picture of George Bush shaking my father’s hand is my son’s prized possession. Have I even mentioned John Kerry’s name to my son? Have I really talked to him about my political views and other respected opinions of my family whom he admires? I come from a politically diverse family, yet this open forum may not be available if “mom” doesn’t offer it to child. It matters to offer vying thoughts and ideas to our children.Frankly, I think that to make a blanket statement to our children that one person for president would be emphatically better than another is wrong. A child, by grade one, is able to accept more than one ideology. Importantly, parents can impart a liberal arts paradigm of thought to their children. Teach them to READ, DISCUSS, AND TO THINK. A difference of opinion can lead to a healthy family dinner conversation, whether you are four or 40! Teach your children how and when to talk. Teach them when to listen. And always teach how to redirect your stance, ” I never thought of it that way.”Reading for meaning was on all of our report cards back in the ’60s. Perhaps we need to impart this measure of evaluation upon ourselves. If we each committed to agreeing to find answers to the turmoil America now faces, our children would face a better future.So, MOM encourages everyone this week to hit the Internet or the local library for this bit of food for intellectual thought brought to you by The New York Times Magazine. The people at the Eagle Public Library are always smiling, as well as my son’s school library. The information awaits usjust ask for help! VTEdwards resident Elizabeth Chicoine writes about matters of the family for the Vail Trail. She can be reached for comment at echicoine@centurytel.net.


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