I read the following the other day and I thought it made a great deal of sense as I wonder what my grandkids are thinking about today’s world:

You can give them your love, but not your thoughts,

For they have their own thoughts.

-Kahil Gilbran

I don’t follow a prophet’s advice all the time, but I do try to keep an open mind. The 2020 election, the state and national political divisions, climate change, racial equality and women’s rights are all issues where I hold strong feelings. As a public educator, it was always important not to share my thoughts about certain subjects without acknowledging all points of view. While teaching in the classroom or working with parents, teachers or community members, it could certainly be a challenge. Sometimes it was difficult for me to hold my tongue, but I did for the most part because it was my job. In our present political climate, things have changed and I wonder if I would have been as successful as I was in the good old days. This quote got me to thinking about my grandkids.

Recognizing My Beliefs are Not My Grandkids’ Beliefs

I have never been hesitant to talk to the grandkids about politics or the real world, but I never really felt like I had to visit with them about issues. Somehow I just assumed they held the same beliefs I did. Kind of like an inherited gene. My mantra has always been to let the grandkids determine for themselves where they stand on issues which are important to them. They will sometimes ask me about a protest sign they see in my garage or pictures of me participating in a march. When they were much younger, they would always join me in the MLK march from the NU Union to the Capital. Or more recently a couple of the granddaughters marched with me voicing our beliefs on women’s rights.

Over the past four years, things have changed. I started seeing how the political division is tearing some families apart and I got a little concerned. I didn’t think our family would have problems, but on the other hand, I didn’t really know.

Where We Stood on Current Events

A couple of weeks ago, my grandson asked me my opinion of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial. Wow! A question that wasn’t related to sports? I was excited to discuss it with him but also knew not to tread too heavily with my thoughts without knowing where this conversation could lead. I told him I was disappointed with the verdict and stopped there and waited and waited.

My grandson stated he agreed with me, but it was his understanding that Wisconsin’s laws may have been written in such a way that supported the final verdict.

The Rittenhouse discussion then lead to other important issues happening in the United States and the world. He’s beginning to see how his income does not always meet his needs. I asked him for more information. Without giving me details of how much he earns, what his cost of living is, etc., he said it’s tough but he does have a budget he follows. He remarked at how someone can go into a pro sports program and make millions of dollars and be the same age. Our grandson, the quiet introvert, questioned the fairness of what the pro player was doing to benefit our society. Another great thought!

Looking at All Sides of an Issue

Thanks to LPS staff for training my grandkids and all students not to just read and listen to one source, but to look at all sides of an issue with multiple resources. Learning to talk civilly to each other, asking questions and sharing thoughts without getting upset is an essential skill. We can learn from each other! As one who is concerned about where we are going as a society, my grandson gives me hope and thoughts of pride!

Nancy Becker

Nancy Becker

Grandkids & Grandparents

I have four grandchildren ages 14-17. In some ways, I’m a very typical grandma, always proud of everything the kids do and wanting to help support them in whatever way I can. In other ways, I’m not very typical. My goal as a blogger is to share my thoughts and experiences that I think are funny and meaningful as I adventure through grandmahood.

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