I need to think back to how many presidents have been sworn in since I have cared for children. Every year that I can remember we have watched the inauguration as a group. I know it’s inappropriate for children to be asked to sit for long periods of time ( especially in front of a tv) so we literally watched maybe 10 minutes when they actually did the swearing in. I know the kids probably won’t remember it except for the fact that I’m documenting it for them. But it’s important to ME for them to be part of this day in history.
Most of the day we spent just doing our normal kid stuff.
While we talked about our day this morning in family time I told them that it was a special day. We would be getting a new President . One of our children said “ Yes! His name is Joe Biden, .” And I said our other President has finished his work and he is leaving. One of my other littles said , “ Is he the one that put kids in cages?” That question saddened me deeply. How do you answer something like that honestly? Probably what it meant to me more than anything is that I should watch my step every day and every action and word that I take because at any given moment what I do may become part of my legacy.
We came in from outside just in time for all of the pomp and circumstance in front of the capital. Many of the children remarked “It’s beautiful.” One child that had just visited Disneyland this summer said “Its kind of like Disney where they have the flags and they’re on a parade.”
Children only understand this whole process on their own terms. The way I explained it was at our school I am the president. 🤣 I do a lot of work and I make a lot of decisions and Mr. Randy is the vice president. He helps me a lot. If I’m not able to be at the house at some point he is the person that would be in charge. 🤷🏻♀️ We talked about the President and how he works for our nation. But quick reminder, that our children do not have any concept of what a nation is – they only truly grasp the concept of their home. I asked them if they were the president and they were able to do anything what would they do. One little girl said she would go to McDonald’s and get a happy meal and an ice cream cone every day. Me too sister. Me too!
They listened as Lady Gaga sang and some of them sang along
I said you might know the people that will be singing. They sing songs on the radio. They wanted to know did she sing our favorite fish song . 🙈
As they watched Joe Biden sworn in they were quiet.
As Kamela Harris was being sworn in I tried to explain that never in history has there been a girl do the job that she will do.
I’m not sure that they understood- but as my girls stood there for me to take a picture I almost felt emotional realizing that one day … very possibly… it could be one of them .
So that brings us to the most important part of the day. Dialog from Debbie. I don’t teach a lot about history. I don’t teach a lot about democracy. As an early childhood educator it’s my job to make sure children can form their own ideas based on solid foundations of what is true and kind. When they are preschoolers if I teach them what kind is and what it looks like -they will recognize it when they are older. When they are preschoolers I don’t have to teach them what violence and bigotry is because if their foundation is kindness and love and truth and acceptance… they will know when they encounter the opposite . Children learn how to treat people that think differently than they do by the adults that they watch and listen to. Even if this is not my party I can still celebrate with them the amazing nation that we have and the systems within it to keep us safe.
Children don’t really understand what history is. If you ask them about yesterday they still get a little confused about what you are asking. All they really understand ( at 3-4) is today— in the present and sometimes that can get murky.
So why don’t we teach littles kindness instead of parties? Why don’t we teach kids that everyone is deserving to be whoever they want to be? We can we teach our kids that they should fight like crazy for their beliefs but never forfeit part of who they really are to prove a point. It’s just not worth it.
And while I am on a soapbox I think children should be taught patriotism. Children should never be led to feel shamed of America and we where live. It could be so much worse. Even the leaders that we don’t agree with… Could be so much worse. Just like Jay-Lo was singing “ this land is your land . This land is my land.” This land is everyone’s land let’s make a movement for kindness.
OK let’s lighten it up a little. You know coloring sheets are not my thing but today I added a different kind of self portrait. They each drew themselves standing next to either Joe Biden or Kamala Harris.
This picture will go in our Friday learning stories book as part of their history. The conversation at the table was this. Levi (who loves green) “I’m drawing him green because Joe Biden loves green.”
Elijah, “I think his favorite colors are blue and red.” Well… That’s a pretty good assumption- today especially.
I think I might be helping raise a future president! With the group that I have this year I would be OK with that!