Mama Mia! Celebrate Obama’s inauguration with your children
jMama Mia! I realize 2008 was a bad year for many financially, but the elections were a resounding success for so many more. I am very excited about the upcoming presidency for its historical significance and its promise of hope for the future. How can I share my excitement with my three children ages 10, 8 and 4?
Wow! That’s a tall order. How to demonstrate the historical significance of an event your children may have the opportunity to see again and again in their lifetimes?
These are children who learn about the Civil Rights movement as some far-gone moment in our nation’s past. Trying to make them understand the cultural and historical relevance of what is happening right now is no easy task.
The oldest of the three is the most ripe to be a part of history in the making, so perhaps a field trip to an inauguration event held locally could drive home the energy and inspiration of these times. You can look at http://www.sierrasun.com for local events if there are any in the Incline Village/Lake Tahoe/Truckee area. You can also pick up a Reno Gazette-Journal (www.rgj.com) or the RN’R (www.newsreview.com) that also comes out of Reno, to learn of anything happening just over the hill.
Even the 8-year-old may enjoy a family field trip to some wild and crazy presidential party. These older two children will be enthusiastic about whatever you show interest and excitement in yourself. It’s your attempt to make them realize this famous mark toward equality that may have them reaching for the IPod or texting a friend in the corner all night. Keep it light and fun (avoid lecturing), take lots of pictures to show them later (in high school or college when they learn about this era in some political science class) and enjoy sharing this moment with your kids (because you thought you never would).
My best advice for the 4-year-old is to leave them at home with a sitter. If you are really that thrilled to mark this historical event with shouts and applause among all three children than make sure to follow my suggestions from the above last paragraph. According to one of the most well known psychologists to have studied children and human development, Jean Piaget (1896-1980), children at this age are in an egocentric stage. They simply see the world and all things in it from their own perspective and cannot make the cognitive leap into someone else’s mind. Therefore, although your 4-year-old may be screaming alongside of you; he or she has no idea why you are screaming in the first place.
At this age having fun is really all that matters, so make the event fun and you will have succeeded for the youngest member of your family to the oldest. No matter what, enjoy yourself because being a member of the first generation to have elected the first African-American president is ours to claim and that is certainly cause for celebration. Happy New Year!
” If you have a parenting puzzler for Mama Mia at the KidZone Museum in Truckee e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 587-KIDS.
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