Children and the politics

Saturday January 16 2021
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Min Atek

By Min Atek

The New Year started on a political high as Ugandans headed to polling stations to cast their votes across the country. The last few months have seen a lot happening on our political scene.

There’s a way politics awakens all manner of emotion in the electorate. We have witnessed a shaking which has culminated into a number of fatalities. I saw a sad picture recently. Two children had been adorned with flags from two rival political factions. The children have been taught to see everything through the hands of politics.

I also know a parent who over the years has made it a point to drum it in the minds of her very young children that the ruling party is the cause of each and every problem in the country, be it political, economic, spiritual, geographical even the basic things such as weather or natural occurrences. While having a conversation with some of my mentees, I mentioned that we have a very delicate situation in our country. We have a regime that has been in power for close to 35years.

Previously, we had been promised that the then new regime wouldn’t stay that long in power. However, that hasn’t been the case. And over the years, frustration has peaked into irrational behaviour as a big number of the population is seeking change.

However, the key question is what change and what are its intricate implications? How will this change be executed and will the change actually bring about the desired results as promised?

What is my role as a parent in these times? Should we encourage political discussions among the children or we should act and pretend like nothing is happening?

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In the age of the Internet and social media, how much do your children consume regarding our current political climate? What mind do they carry of their leaders?

Should leaders be held accountable for their place and role in our world and communities? Should we hold similar conversations with our young children?

The nine months that the children have been away from formal school have had a great impact. Things haven’t been the same. How should the parent deal with their children while being realistic with our political situation? What will history say about our current times and what lessons do we pick? May God help us to see beyond our political differences? May God help us see past our anger and frustration.

May God turn our hearts from seeing and dreaming for the self to the place of thinking and planning for the greater good.

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