Marching with Children

There is plenty of advice available online for parents moved to include children when they participate in a protest. Whether you’re worried about safety or questioning children’s ability to understand what they see and hear around them during the march, the decision is certainly a personal one. Here are some thoughts on why parents do decide to bring their kids along …

So often we say, ‘You can do that when you grow up.’ I want my children to know they have the opportunity now to have their voices heard and to make change. You just want to think about engaging them in a way that’s empowering for them, even if it’s something as simple as them making a poster, and then following it up with other opportunities, whether that’s writing a letter or talking about public affairs at dinnertime.

Want to Bring Your Kid to the Women’s March? Cool. Just Be Prepared.

I also found some stuff [online] questioning whether it’s manipulative to bring children to a protest — if it brainwashes them. Disclosure: I ‘brainwash’ my kids about a lot of things. Wild stuff, like ‘we don’t hit’ and ‘no vegetables, no dessert.’ I have no qualms about also ‘brainwashing’ them about the importance of showing up. I only recently learned that myself, and I’m excited to share and live it with them.

Is It Nuts to Bring Kids to a Protest Rally?

It’s in watching adults model appropriate responses to challenges, conflicts, pain, difficult decisions and uncertainty that kids learn how to do so in their own lives. And modeling and imposing are two very different things … [By attending protests,] we model what citizens should and must do when our formal modes of participating are simply not enough. Leave our kids out of that and we’re leaving them out of a lot.

I Took My Kids to the Protest

Don’t worry so much that the kids are not getting the whole thing intellectually. They will get as much as they can on their current level.

7 Reasons to Take Your Kid to a Protest
March for Science, Boulder, CO – April 2017

School aged children are old enough to have some understanding of the purpose of the rally and what the issues are. In the days and weeks leading up to the rally, discuss these with your young people. Encourage them to voice their own thoughts and to share with you what issues are most important to them and why. … Read books, watch movies, and engage with other media that will help your child understand the history of peaceful resistance in the USA and the gains that have been made through ordinary citizens mobilizing for the issues they believe in.

Activist Mama’s Guide to Taking Kids to a March
(offers super comprehensive and practical advice!)
the author & her daughter
COVER PHOTO: Denver Women’s March, January 2017

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