*This is a guest post
Google defines an activist as follows:
noun: activist; plural noun: activists
a person who campaigns to bring about political or social change.
“police arrested three activists”
|synonyms:||militant, zealot, protester; More|
campaigning to bring about political or social change.
“activist groups around the world are organizing solidarity events”
I’ve always been an activist. As I sit here, in Los Angeles, awaiting news of a government shutdown, while the President of the United States tweets his way to oblivion, we are also preparing for the second worldwide Women’s March for all things human rights. It’s important to me to show my daughter that she can make a positive mark on the world, no matter how small the act. Our daughter will know what an actual activist looks like, acts like and thinks like because she lives it. My hope is that all children will have the opportunity to
Here are five tips for raising an activist child:
Knowledge is power
Read books about activists. There are so many amazing books available. There are board books series, paperbacks and biographies galore! Children relate to books about people, real or imagined. At two and a half, my daughter already has quite a collection.
Educate yourself & your kids
Activism can be as simple as a phone call or letter to a local or state politician. Learn the issues, give your input, and call or write requests for change. These simple acts take minutes & really do make a difference!
Listen and give them options
Whether they are touched by suffering of children or animals, or into saving the planet, kids can donate their allowance to a worthy cause that speaks to them, help pick up litter at a park with their friends, collect recyclables (and if your state pays a CRV, donate the money to a charity for a double win!).
Attend a march or rally
Peaceful protests are most successful when people come together for strength in numbers. The Women’s March was expected to be huge in Washington D.C., but everyone was surprised when every corner of the world was flooded with people marching last year. It was so inspiring! Imagine what that looks like to the eyes of a child. What a magnificent example to our younger generations
Do not be afraid
Activism isn’t dangerous. Ignorance is. With incidents like neo-Nazis mowing people down while peacefully protesting, many people are fearful of things like marching with their children. As parents, we teach our children how to be strong. Holding back for fear of the unknown is contagious, and that is the goal of oppressors. We must teach our children to show up, persist and show those who try to scare us that we will not back down.
Whatever path you take, lead with human dignity. When we teach our children that all people are equal, we imprint on their hearts the desire to uphold that right. We are so often paralyzed by the injustice of a situation. Once you’ve made that realization, do something. Some of the most impactful activists of our time began at 30, 40 or 50! If they can be changemakers later in life, imagine what young people can do. The sooner we start, the easier it is to apply human dignity to our work daily and effectively. There are different levels of commitment, but every person can do something
What are your thoughts about raising an activist child? Do share in a comment below.
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Author bio: Lola is the author of The Razzle Dazzle Mommy blog. Work-at-home-mum to a beautiful 2-year-old, this trainer Sign Language Interpreter has turned her passion for writing, activism and her journey as an adoptive parent into a new career path. She has also been published in online publications the Parent Voice and Mother.ly.