Help! How Do I Talk To My Son About Occupy Wall Street?

5 years ago

Life is complicated. Thank goodness there are experts to help us untangle some of the vexing issues that, well, vex us on a daily basis. The Mouthy Housewives are here on BlogHerMOMS to help, three times a week. Email your pressing issues and questions to stacy at morrison@blogher.com to be answered in exclusive posts on Fridays. Today, we share the newest Mouthy wisdom on offer.


Dear Mouthy Housewives,

My 11-year-old started asking me questions about the Occupy Wall Street movement and I'm stumped about what to tell him.

It almost makes me miss Pokémon.

Any ideas?

Signed,

PreOccupied

___________________________________

Dear PreOccupied,

Oh, kids today with their questions!  Whatever happened to the good old days when they were seen and not heard?!

Apparently those days are gone forever and now we have to deal with nonsense like inquisitive minds and children wanting to learn.   It's as though they don't realize that it's Project Runway finale week and mommy is busy.

Occupy Wall Street protester

Credit Image:Paul Stein via Flickr

But lucky for you, I just had the Occupy Wall Street discussion with my teenage daughter, so I can write from experience.

I tried to tell her that people were protesting because they were upset by how much she rolls her eyes at me.  Sadly, this was met with more eye rolling.

So I leveled with her.   At 13, my daughter was ready to hear the truth as I understood it—that some people are upset about what they perceive to be economic injustice in our society.

And then a wonderful thing happened.  She asked follow-up questions and we had a great conversation about different forms of protest, the rights of the people to express their anger at a given situation and being respectful even at the height of frustration.

No matter what side of the Occupy Wall Street movement you are on, there are definitely many teachable moments to share with your son. And the fact that he is asking questions that will lead to a discussion is a gift.

Let his questions shape the conversation.  Start by saying that you know he has been wondering about Occupy Wall Street—what has he heard about it? He may have seen images on TV that he found upsetting or confusing.  Address that first.

Be sure to reassure him that it is not as scary as when Grandma and Grandpa occupied your guest room that one endless weekend.

Don't worry about not having all the answers or saying the wrong things.  What is important is that you and  your son are communicating about what is on his mind and that he knows that you are a resource that he can turn to.

Good luck,

Marinka, TMH

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