Would You Bring Your Child to a Protest?

Photo by Lise Varette

When it comes to kids, the whole world is a classroom. Little ones are prone to taking in everything around them, asking questions and searching for answers. As parents, we’re lucky to be their first teachers, encouraging their curiosity and fueling their imaginations. But when it comes to public protests, is it better for children to be active participants, or passive observers?

On Mother’s Day, Tamil protesters here in Toronto stormed the Gardiner Expressway¬† (a major highway in and out of the downtown core) in an effort to bring awareness to a cause that they are extremely passionate about (you can read more about it here). It was one of many recent demonstrations that involved thousands of Tamils and Tamil-Canadians of all ages. And although we respect their passion and their right to voice their concerns about the atrocities that are taking place in Sri Lanka, there was one thing that we found particularly troubling about the Mother’s Day demonstration: the presence of children, especially those in strollers. It got us to thinking, when it comes to taking part in a protest, where and when do you draw the line as far as your child’s safety is concerned? How do you teach your kids that it’s important to stand up for what you believe in, while also upholding the law and staying safe?

Interested in teaching your child more about activism? Check out our article on raising an activist child.

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