Diary Adventures of LagosMums: DALM | Children and Politics
Have you ever wondered if children and politics go together? Maybe you are waiting for the right age to start talking about politics with your children?
Children nowadays learn faster than we did. We all know what happens when you leave a smart device with a young child, he or she instinctively takes a swipe at the screen and can navigate to Youtube to watch a video. If it is the ipad they promptly navigate to the app of their choice or go straight to Temple Muse.
The other day we were driving down the road and my five year old asked if the new President and the new Government would make sure that the roads would be cleaner. He also wanted to know if they would paint all the houses because he does not think it looks nice when buildings are not painted or look dirty. As he said this he pointed out several examples of dirty, unpainted houses and piles of filth.
He and his sibling got into a conversation with themselves discussing who they were going to vote for and whether PDP or APC. They went on to mention the different aspirants and I was just stunned that they were this aware. I certainly had not been discussing with them.
It got me thinking that when is the right time to start talking about what governance is about?
We might not be able to control what the current Government and leadership do but we can start to raise awareness of what governance should look like with our children. If we have them grow up with the idea that politics and governance in Nigeria is fraught with problems, then we risk raising children who think this way. We don’t want them to give up on trying to make things in Nigeria better, afterall that is what their parents and grandparents have done, you want better schools you travel out, you need health care you travel out.
We should raise children who are allergic to the idea of corruption, who will grow up wanting to do what is right, wanting to improve their nation. We can raise children who do not think it is okay to shrug and look the other way, but who think about what they can do to make things better.
Our Nigerian children should expect our elections to be free, fair and without violence. My child asked me if we were also travelling to get away from the elections. She asked because she has overheard people talking about travelling during this period for safety. This should not be the norm.
Change does not come overnight, but we should be mindful that we have children with impressionable minds around us. They are learning from what they hear us say, the values that we discuss and the viewpoints that we hold. It is no different when it comes to politics and governance.
So let us keep in mind that we want to raise children who are proud to be Nigerian, who do not give up on Nigeria and who rather are passionate about how to make things better. They should be proud to call Nigeria home! Let’s not make a mistake and raise children who think the solution is to go abroad. Let us teach them that each of them carries change in their DNA and can make a difference to get a Nigeria that they want. We did it #NigeriaDecided.
They are aware and so we should feed them with the right information, this is our chance to shape them in the right way.