Getting Kids Involved in Politics
In the past year (sigh) I have become quite politically active. I attend rallies and marches; I'm involved in my local Indivisible group; I call and mail politicians; I volunteer for a craftivist project; and I co-host a political podcast. These things are important to me. I care, deeply, about the state of the country, and I feel that I didn't do enough before now. I still feel like I'm not doing nearly enough.
But I'm also a working mom of young children. I think it's important for their sake that I work to improve the world, but it's also important that I spend time with them. I try to mostly take on projects that won't keep me from the kids. For instance, we record podcast episodes after they're asleep (or, at least after they're supposed to be asleep). I miss bedtime on nights when there's an Indivisible meeting, but I make sure I get home for dinner first, and it's only about one night a month. I try to help with the social media side of organizing whenever possible because it can usually be done at night or on lunch breaks and not during time I'd be with the kids.
(I would be remiss here if I didn't mention how all of this is possible because I have a very supportive husband who picks the kids up from school and cooks dinner and puts them to bed when I'm not home to do so. Any of you spouses who are helping the resistance through childcare and cooking and laundry, I salute you!)
But what I enjoy most is when I can find ways to involve the kids in activism. My kids have already been to more rallies at ages 6 and 3 than I'd been to at age 36. They enjoy making signs and drawing on sidewalks with chalk and chanting and seeing other people. They've been to the Smart Museum with me to catalog Welcome Blankets on many, many occasions. I think they think it's part of our house at this point.
Not every part of political activism is child-friendly, and I always feel bad when I can't do things like phone banking, which is why I was so excited to see Postcards to Voters. The idea is to send hand-drawn, hand-written postcards directly to voters to make a grass-roots difference. They're currently working on a campaign to send postcards to Alabama voters to encourage them to vote for Doug Jones. Yesterday, my six-year old made a postcard, and it was so much fun that I approached my Indivisible group about having a family-friendly postcard party. I think I wasn't the only one to have this idea because the postcard site is suddenly inundated with requests!
I'd love to hear about any other kid-friendly ideas like this. How do you involve your kids in politics?