BLOG, Empowerment, Erb's Palsy Awareness Week, PARENTS / By Ruth Carter
Political rite of passage features in session 11, it is the last of the Rites of Passage in the Strengthening Families Strengthening Communities (SFSC) Parenting program. Many families currently across the world are going through many different challenges which as a direct result of political decisions has impacted them, for example having to wear face masks. There are even discussions about children wearing face masks in school like those students who have already returned to school in Scotland.
This particular session I have found that at any given time does spark a deeper conversation in the parenting groups. It’s this session that parents recognise how politics impacts their families and communities and it’s fair to say that we have all been impacted in one way or another during this pandemic that the world has faced. Although we are going through phases to fully open up the world again, that is being led by politics. We even discuss political issues at home in regards to what’s happening here in the U.K. and in other countries as it’s flashed upon our news daily. At times our children may just be listening in and not contributing to your household conversation, I’ve heard first-hand children discussing political issues at school not led by a teacher but amongst themselves and I sit and think that must be from their parents when I’ve asked it’s confirmed. So how do we discuss political issues at home? And how do we teach our children the political rites of passage is what we will uncover today.
The political daily updates that were on during the height of the pandemic got me to a point where I had to switch off, hearing all that bad news every day wasn’t doing me any good and also my son was taking in a lot of that information which did impact on his feelings as his dad works for the patient ambulance service at Harefield Hospital. We’ve had more political discussions during the last 6 months than any other time. Politics is discussed at our house as I recognise it’s a big part of our lives and how we go about within our communities.
Whether you like it or not, interested in or not the topic of politics will be around for a long time and has been here since the first constitution was written back in June 1215 The Magna Carta. I remember covering the topic in schools as part of the history lesson but never really took into account the importance of it. I’d go as far as I had very little interest when I was younger and now I help parents and student gain a deeper understanding of local, national and international politics. It’s sometimes best to tackle the things closest to you before attempting to conquer the world. Michelle and I have heard countless accounts of disgruntled parents/constituents about the state of the park such as seeing drunk people and needles in the parks where the children play. Our response is do something about it and the response back is there is nothing we can do. If your not happy with something as mentioned in the park scenario you can go to your local MP or put a petition together to make the changes you want to see by engaging in this political rites of passage. I’ve assisted parents to visit their local MP to write a letter on their behalf to get them so needed support to improve their circumstances. We all have to start somewhere so let’s take a look at what the SFSC has to offer.
Step 1 – Help your child to learn to organize and conduct a meeting.
Step 2 – Help your child develop knowledge of the law-making process.
Local and national government
Step 3 – Help your child to learn the steps involved in holding leaders accountable to those that elected them.
a. Learn the duties and responsibilities of different elected officials
b. Develop knowledge of current leaders and their views on key issues
c. Learn to write to a political official, addressing issues that directly affect the community
Step 4 – Help your child to learn when and how to vote and participate in a political campaign.
The above steps are also attached to the Political Rite of Passage activities. Choose 1 out of the list of 9 different activities and let me know how you get on.
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Ruth Carter The Liberty Coach.
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