Kidding Around With Politics

Like many of you, I was at home this past Tuesday night watching the returns of the mid-term election. My 10 year old son happened to be next to me on the couch reading a book required for an upcoming book report. I was somewhat taken aback by my firstborn as he looked up from his book just in time to hear a commentator describe how long of a night it was shaping up to be for the democrats. “Oh bummer, the democrats are losing”, he proclaimed.

Now, I wouldn’t say I vote straight ticket or anything, but I come from a long lineage of those who walk the way of the great elephant. So, needless to say, I was curious as to where my usually acquiescent eldest was getting his sudden rebellious tendencies. “So you are following the path of FDR and the Kennedy’s?”, I asked. Knowing full well he had no idea who I was talking about. “huh?”, came the fully expected reply. I proceeded to inquire how he had developed sudden affinity for the democratic party. He mentioned that he was aware President Obama was a democrat and he had read in some magazines in his fourth grade class that he was “doing a pretty good job”.

I must admit that over the past few years I have found myself underestimating my older two kids and their current level of general consciousness. As parents we all struggle with the balance of maintaining innocence while also preparing our children as diligently as possible. My older kids have now reached an age where I have distinct memories of my own childhood. There are two things that accompany this milestone which terrify me. First, I remember how old I thought my dad was when I was 10. Second, I can remember feeling much more self-aware than I currently give my kids credit for.

Tuesday night was a great example of my own naivety exposed as well as an opportunity for teaching my son about politics and the responsibility of being a good citizen. I wonder how many other opportunities to engage my kids I miss day to day? What do you think creates the common denominator of these opportunities? I would like to hear from you. Time? Communication? Common interests?

I know it has been mentioned before on this blog, but my family is reading through The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd-Jones as our nightly devotional and I can’t remember when we have had more thoughtful conversations with our kids about the gospel and God’s hand in our lives as we seek to please Him in our thoughts and actions. If your kids are under 12 I would highly recommend this book as a great way to deliberately engage your kids with the truths of the gospel. Also, for you dads who would like a daily challenge of how to serve your family as well as encouragement for finding ways to connect with your kids, check out www.allprodad.com. You can sign up for a daily email that is short, succinct and always helpful.

I think there will always be moments when our children catch us by surprise. Hopefully we can use those times to encourage them in all aspects of there lives. Even if in a very bipartisan way.

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