Misery may love company, but activism adores it! And the thing is, the more I practice everyday acts of kindness and political action, the more optimistic I feel. In February, I (mostly) succeeded in my resolution to do good every day, and I came away with this as my main takeaway: We can do even more good, develop relationships that build community and get out of our Facebook bubble when taking action with others.
A post was recently circulating on Facebook that said, basically—and I’m summarizing here—that President Trump really is making America great again. After all, community involvement and participation is the highest I’ve ever seen, citizens are educated and vocal about our government, and nonprofits are receiving record support. What’s more, it’s not only grown-ups standing up for justice. Family activism seems to be growing, too.
My girls are definitely accompanying me on my journey becoming a more active and outspoken citizen. So it felt natural to make protest signs with my kids.
Today more than ever, we need to raise our kids to be world-changers. For us, that means we are committing to take kids to a protest, even if it’s not always convenient. That also means we’re raising our girls to be nasty women—a title I wear with pride.
The night before I took Peeper and Kiwi to their first demonstration, I didn’t know what to expect. But I wanted to prepare, so I asked some friends and activist parents I know how to take kids to a protest.
I followed their advice, and I’m happy to report our family activism went great! Both Peeper and Kiwi did great at the protest, and I put into action all the wonderful tips I got.
Now is the perfect time to learn more about how to take kids to a protest. After all, there are a ton of marches and demonstrations nationwide that match up with the inauguration of President-Elect Donald Trump. (You don’t have to go to Washington, D.C. for the big march; here’s an article to find an inauguration protest near you.)
If you’re bringing your kids, here’s how to ensure your mini activists stay safe and happy.
Thanks to my post-election doldrums and the holiday season, my family has been trying to do a lot more good deeds lately. Unfortunately, sometimes doing good goes wrong.
Take, for example, the time a few weeks ago when Peeper and I baked cookies to bring to our town’s firefighters, along with a handmade card. But just as we arrived, they left with sirens blazing, so I ate the cookies. Later we tried again. No one answered at the fire house. So I ate the cookies. I decided to try once more: I bought a dozen cookies from the grocery store and took the kids to the fire house. Still no one there. So—you guessed it—I stress ate four gingersnaps on the drive home.
We live in a quiet little town outside Portland—not exactly arson central. So either these fire fighters are avoiding me and my baked goods or they’re posing for some sexy fire fighter calendar.
I’m hoping for the latter.
But seriously, all these attempts to do a little good are compromising my resolve to eat better.
“Everyone has a home, right, Mom?” Peeper asked me the other day.
“No, sweetie. Some people don’t have homes.”
Peeper’s question opened the door to talk about homelessness—and what, exactly, it means. Even better, it inspired us to do something.
Her question prompted us to fill a stocking for the homeless with the most in-demand items that help people without reliable housing. We’ll give the stocking, which was sewn by volunteers at the local nonprofit Fill a Stocking, Fill a Heart, to a business collecting them for people who don’t have enough. When reading about Fill a Stocking, I learned that the stockings go to lots of people, including homebound seniors and kids in foster homes. I also learned that many of the people who receive the stockings won’t get any other present this holiday.
For at least one person, my kids and I will give back this Christmas.