Obama’s speech to our children…an opposing view

September 8th, 2009 12:34pm

An opposing viewpoint on the scheduled speech by President Obama, By guest blogger Stacy Mantle Staley

Work hard in school. Prepare for a satisfying career. Wash your hands so you don’t get the flu. Participate in your community. Offer service to your neighbors and country. Don’t spend countless hours in front of the TV – get out and do something!

Certainly these are messages we don’t want our kids to receive. I mean, jeez. What would happen if children actively participated in life rather than stand around and passively hope everything goes to plan?

I’m honestly surprised that our President is being accused of “indoctrinating” (the current buzz word for the day) our children with a left-winged socialist agenda. Those doing the criticizing are convinced our President will single-handedly reduce our children to zombie-eyed hippies who blindly succumb to his Jedi mind tricks and carry out his every demand.

(Quick – put on your tin-foil hat and shut your eyes!)

Give me a break. The kids of today won’t listen to their own parents – what makes you think they are going to do what our President says?

Here’s the thing, folks – the lesson plan that has been under so much controversy was created by a quite ineffective (if you ask me) curriculum designer. I’m certain that our President didn’t sit down to develop the original lesson and I’m even more certain that there was no intent to brainwash children.

What’s interesting is that if these right-wing conservatives had stepped up like this during the election, they wouldn’t have to deal with Obama being in their kid’s classrooms in the first place. But rather than show up at the polls, they choose to direct their frustration onto the president who was elected in by the majority.

What’s even more difficult to understand is how people feel that this is an affront to their children’s mind? I don’t think there was this much of a public outcry when Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush entered our children’s classrooms. If there was, I didn’t pay any attention to it… No more than I paid attention to my principal, or my parents, or my teachers, or anyone in any type of authority position.

I have every confidence that when I ask my stepson what he did in school today, his immediate answer will be “nothing.” When I press the issue, he’ll respond, ‘Oh yeah – there was something on TV. It was cool. I got to text message for 20 minutes and the teacher didn’t even get mad.” When I ask what the speech was about, it will be answered by a shrug as he walks out to get his bike and go for a quick ride before homework, “I dunno,” he’ll mumble.

Yeah – good luck indoctrinating my pre-teen of anything, Mr. President…

I’m not a political analyst or a psychiatrist. I’m not heavily involved in politics, and honestly – never really cared for the topic. I’m also not afraid of my kids (or anyone else’s) being “indoctrinated” with a set of values that their parents should have provided in the first place. If you’re all this worried about your kids being ‘brainwashed,’ maybe you’re more afraid that you haven’t done your job indoctrinating your child with your own set of values. I’ve always felt less than adequate as a step-mom, but even I have the confidence to allow my kids to listen to a 20-minute speech. Then again, I know they are strong enough to make their own decision. And if they’re not, I’ll still be around for them when they’re ready to talk. But, I won’t stuff my own personal values down their throats; not politically, spiritually or mentally.

Don’t get me wrong. I’ll try to do that once in awhile, but I know that I will fail.

Why? Because if nothing else, I’ve taught the kids to think for themselves, to make their own decisions, and to find their way – whether I agree with it or not. Just as my parents did for me. I will tell them my thoughts on the subject, but I won’t force them to believe as I do. I will protect them to the best of my ability, but I won’t shield them from the world.

And I hope that you won’t either…

Please visit our forum and share your thoughts on Obama’s speech as a teacher, as a parent or as simply a concerned citizen.