Archive for the ‘Parenting’ Category

Can we rewind a little bit?

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

I decided this year that I’m not going to acknowledge my children’s birthdays in writing. Of course they’ll get their birthday cakes, presents and both the English and Venezuelan version of Happy Birthday. I just don’t want to go into detail about what these birthdays mean.

If I did, I’d have to talk about how my daughter is now closer to 18 than she is to a much more simpler time. Like let’s say being a toddler.

I’d have to discuss my son turning 5 and has now spent the majority of his life living in Venezuela. That might explain why he speaks so much Spanish.

Talking about it would mean acknowledging that I can no longer pick my daughter up, put her above my head and twirl her around while she has fits of giggles (I have about 2 months left of doing that with my son).

Nope, I’m going to avoid these topics altogether. I’ll simply enjoy these other little moments that I still have with them…

You know the all-encompassing manual they give to parents, well it fails to mention that time goes by at warp speed sometimes. Not when you’re up 3 times a night for feedings and diaper changes, but when you get settled into a phase where they’re becoming independent, but still thing you hung the moon. I guess it’s all sort of cyclical. Right when you least expect it, you wake up and they’re 3 years older from the last time you checked.

I guess the only thing that I can do is accept that certain chapters have closed in raising my kids and look forward to the new ones *sigh*


Parenting and Politics

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Politics Balloons

As you may have heard, presidential elections took place here last Sunday. Even though history of instability has made Venezuelans nervous about elections, it was very uneventful. People stood in line, voted and the winner was announced. Pretty much how elections should go.

What did surprise me about this is something my daughter said to me one day on her way home from school.

Daughter: Several of my friends are for Capriles.

Me: Why?

Daughter: Because they say Chavez is a bad man.

Me: What do you think?

Daughter: I don’t agree. When I see him on TV all he does is make people laugh.

Me: What do you think about Capriles?

Daughter: I don’t know anything about him, just that he’s abajo a la izquierda (that was his position on the ballot, which was written on all his campaign materials).

It’s no secret that Venezuelans are highly polarized when it comes to political preferences, but I’ve always felt that sort of thing was only discussed among adults. After hearing my daughter’s simple understanding of politics, I realized that I would never say such things to her about an American or Haitian politician. Of course I think that she should understand the political process, democracy and all that jazz. I just approach politics from a different standpoint.

When I choose to support a candidate, it’s not about the person – it’s about the issues. My values and the way that I think an efficient government should operate are what I base my vote on as opposed to whether or not I like a candidate. So to me, that’s what I need to teach my kids. I don’t want them to be fanatics to the point of saying mean things about people or name calling. Actually, I don’t want them to resort to that sort of behavior…ever.

How did your parents teach you about politics? How do you think children should be taught about it?


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