I have to admit that when it comes to being what some would consider a “progressive parent” I probably don’t win any awards. Sure, I try to teach my kids the importance of Christian love, charity, social justice, etc.. However, I sleep pretty soundly at night, even after hearing my son tell me he killed 45 people with direct “head shots” on the XBOX.
I also am guilty, along with a great many other parents throughout the history of Western Civilization, of assuming that my children are not really all that interested or attuned to what is going on in the world. So when my son asked me the other day if we can attend the “March for Our Lives” gathering in Washington D.C. to protest gun violence, I was a little surprised.
As a Father I try to be very small (d) democratic. For all my parents neo-conservatism I always appreciated their Laissez Faire approach to their kid’s social and political beliefs. I always promised that I would do the same when I had kids. So when my son expressed his desire to attend I was unsure how to think about this. Is he really concerned about gun violence? Does he want to go because a famous you tuber or reality star will be there? Am I a bad Dad because I never talked about my personal beliefs on gun control? Should I create a PowerPoint and go through the pros and cons of gun control policy? Should I share with him Jesus statements on non-violence? Should I just calm down and be “normal”?
Like so many things in my life I couldn’t shake a desire to explore this with my son in greater depth. I immediately summoned him an asked him his views on things like poverty, war, racism, and the chances of Loyal Chicago winning the NCAA Championship. His response, all kidding aside, was very simple. He explained that “anything happening to me that will make me sad, scared, or upset is something we should make the President work on. The President needs to make bad things stop so that people can have good lives.”
My son is not part of the 44% of millennial youth who told researchers they would prefer living in a “Socialist Society.” He isn’t old enough to have had a wiled eyed lefty professor like me influence his worldview (in a bit of interesting information, in the study where 44% of students expressed a desire for Socialism over Capitalism, the majority stated that their views were not influenced at all by their college professors or teachers.). My son is an expression of what Christ tried to teach us so long ago when in Matthew 21:16 he told the Disciples “From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise”
We should listen to our children more. We should learn from their wisdom. We should imitate Christ teachings when he said we “should be like little children” when we seek to enter the peace which passes all understanding. Their wisdom could change the world.