The other day I was listening to my eight-year-old talk to his friend and it took a turn I wasn’t expecting. It turns out he DOES listen to us. >_<

Gabriel, to his friend: “So if you could vote, would you choose Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump?”

His friend: “I don’t really know.”

Gabriel: “Well, Hillary stole government information and shared it with people she wasn’t supposed to. And Donald Trump will RUIN our country.”

I’m inspired by his interest in politics. At 8, I could barely see past my own circle of life.

But the thought that he listened so intently when I thought he was in his own world got me thinking about how I could use that to our benefit. I wonder what other tidbits he’s picked up from conversations I’ve had with my husband about what’s going on the world around us. Lightbulb moment: We need to spend more time talking and engaging our children in our conversations about the things that other people are experiencing.

I’ve found that my natural instinct is to protect our children from the injustices that occur, the ugly truth this world sometimes have to offer. In my opinion, that’s wrong. I don’t want to shelter them from it. I want to encourage curiosity. I want them to see us fired up about things. I want them to see us involved-doing what we can to reach out. I want them to see us doing our part to foster change in the situations we just can’t agree with.

I haven’t quite figured out what that will look like in our lives, but I know it will happen. I don’t want them to turn away from what is wrong, simply because it doesn’t have a major impact on their own lives. Mindful parenting, purposeful parenting-that’s the kind of parenting I want to raise my children with.