Mothers of Intention — Are My Progressive Values Full of Hate? By Viva La Feminista

Wed, July 16, 2008

Mothers of Intention

Welcome one and all! As I am trying to finish packing and leaving instructions for Mr. PunditMom (don’t forget to pack PunditGirl’s lunch for camp!) before I head out for the BlogHer conference, it’s time for this week’s edition of Mothers of Intention! Please welcome my good bloggy friend Veronica from Viva La Feminista and her take on being a progressive mother.

Brain, Child asked if we should raise our children with our political views. I responded with a simple “of course.” A recent commenter went off about us teaching hate – “you don’t think your kids see your hatred and anger toward this country?”

Let me set the record straight…at least for my family.

Any hatred I have is about how our country is being run and it’s more frustration than hatred, even if I do swear about the government a lot. Rather than teaching hatred for this country, I teach my daughter about respect. Respect for us, her teachers, family and friends. We also try, it’s hard, to model respect for different tastes and views. Throughout the primary season we talked to her about who was running and why we were voting the way we did. Never once, despite our loathing, did we disparage Bush. I simply explained to her that in January Bush’s turn was over and kept my “Thank Gawd!” in my head.

Love is another idea we talk about. We extend our love far outside our blood family. We have celebrated holidays with friends and members of our chosen family. I take my daughter to organizing events and meetings to show her how much love goes into the work I do. She has been to anti-war and equal marriage rallies and it is explained to her in terms of simple love and respect.

Which is why I can’t understand people who, in general not just the one anonymous commenter, believe in forbidding two loving people to marry, in racism (not just blatant, but subtle/institutional), and that their religion is better than any other, can even suggest that progressives preach hate or brain wash our children. If teaching my daughter to respect and love all who share our planet is brainwashing, then I am guilty. If teaching her that those who don’t are still to be respected (I’m still working on this one!) is hateful then I am guilty.

Instilling values in children is what parents do. That is your intention and my intention from the start. If we let them make all their own decisions, they would be lost. I don’t tell her, unlike a dear friend of mine, that supporters of a certain U.S. Congressman don’t get candy while at a parade. But I do tell her I like Senator Obama because we both “like the same things.”

It’s simplistic, but hey, she’s five.

Thanks Veronica for hanging out here at Mothers of Intention! When she’s not teaching her daughter the basics of electoral politics she’s blogging at Viva La Feminista, Moms on Issues, and other funtastic places.

Stay tuned. I’m hoping to sign up lots of new Mothers of Intention in San Francisco! While I’m there, don’t forget to take me up on my revolution challenge!! It comes with bling! ;)

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2 Responses to “Mothers of Intention — Are My Progressive Values Full of Hate? By Viva La Feminista”

  1. Florinda Says:

    “If we let them make all their own decisions, they would be lost.”

    I think you’re right. Even if they eventually do make decisions that differ from ours – a different political viewpoint, a different church, a different favorite baseball team :-) – our job is to give them a base for those decisions.

    And those decisions and viewpoints are derived from our values, which ultimately is really what we’re teaching.

    Great post, Veronica.

  2. anniegirl1138 Says:

    Bases are important. I struggled with whether or not to raise my daughter Catholic. It was part of my base after all, but in the end I chose to simply forgo organized religion. It is too sexist and I can’t have her being exposed to that intentionally when it is all around her anyway.

    She recently asked if her grandparents church (Catholic) taught “true” things. I had explained to her the reason we don’t go to church as they do is that church taught that boys and girls weren’t equal and that wasn’t true. I didn’t know how to answer but assured her that her grandparents believed in true things. She is thinking and questioning already though and in the end that is what I want for her.

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