How prescient is that? We all need to talk about politics at the table.
Here’s my post from a year ago. Consider it a boatload of wisdom from a couple of eleven-year-olds:
Here’s one I laughed about. For the backstory, I bought a pack of TableTopic Cards for the family as a Christmas present. I thought it would be a way to get us talking about things other than who pushed who in the lunch line. I’ve also noticed that my wife and I make sure we sit with the kids at dinner, so we can talk about a card. We pull a card each night at dinner, and it’s open talk time. Everyone gets a turn to answer, and any question or answer is fair. For those who no longer understand the idea, we call it Free Speech. We made some rules about laughing and fairness, and, truth be told, it’s been a great thing for the family.
Since my wife is still recovering from surgery, I drove the girls to school today. Of all things, M asked me if I was voting for Trump.
“Well,” I said, “that’s a long way off. First, we vote for who will run for the Democrats and Republicans, then we vote in what’s called the general election. That’s where we elect a president.”
R shouts from the backseat. “But Trump’s been impeached! He broke the law!” Eleven-year-old drama is dying to spill, but I bring it down a notch.
“I can’t see that anyone cares except the people who hated him before. But you’re right, Democrats think he broke the law. Republicans say he didn’t.”
M pipes up. “I don’t think we should have a president who can’t keep the laws about being president.” I imagine her in the back, arms crossed, daring anyone to disagree, burning coals for eyes.
“I think a lot of people agree with you,” I say.
Then she says something I can’t imagine any other young girl saying. It’s the same feeling I get when I see Chopped Kids on TV. Who are these kids who sprinkle foie gras bits over an arugula salad with raspberry dressing? Weird. When I was their age, I spent my time drawing pictures of stegosaurs and pterodactyls and trying to work up the spine to call Patti on Friday night.
So, M says, “I think we should be talking more about the election at the dinner table.”
“About the election? At dinner?” I’m weirded out.
“Right. Like our cards. We should talk about what we think and how it all works.”
I ray of hope pierces my heart.
Lots of folks are interested in these TableTopic cards. We pick one each night to start a conversation. If you’re buying, there are all kinds of these card topic and you’ll want to be age-appropriate. It surprises me, but my eleven-year-olds love them. We have a rule that everyone gets to have a say. I wonder if this permission to have an opinion is part of the appeal? Check them out.