LETTER: Talk to kids about the strike

As the BC teachers’ strike moves in to the new school year, parents’ and children’s lives are being disrupted.

As the BC teachers’ strike moves in to the new school year, parents’ and children’s lives are being disrupted. This is not how we expect the school year to begin.

Younger children have a hard time understanding what is happening and parents are wondering how to talk with them about it. You may have very strong feelings about the strike on one side or the other, but I think it is important, from a developmental perspective, to present the situation as objectively as possible.

We don’t want our children to see either the teachers, or the government, as “bad, selfish, greedy, insensitive etc.” regardless of how we personally feel about it. Much as we want our kids to adopt our opinions, in the long run it’s best to give them a chance to think for themselves.

I don’t pretend to have the answers, but I think the situation presents opportunities for teaching our kids about the country they live in and how we deal with conflict.. Canada is a democratic society where people are free to express their opinions, and to ask for what they would like where they work. We are fortunate to live in a country where this is possible. If we can look at the broader picture we can find a way to talk about the strike with our kids. Here are some ideas for things to talk about:

1. People disagree about things. This happens in families (give examples) and sometimes between friends, and sometimes between teachers and the people who are in charge of where we live (older kids can get the idea of government).

2. It’s OK to have different opinions.

3. It’s important to be able to say what you think and be respectful of other people’s opinions.

4. Sometimes people don’t like other people’s ideas.

5. Sometimes people get impatient if they can’t convince other people to agree with them.

6. They can keep trying to talk about it.

7. Sometimes people are very unhappy about their jobs and how they have to do them. They want things to be better.

8. Sometimes they can’t convince their employers (the people who give them the jobs) to make it better, so they say that they won’t do any work for a while. That is called a strike.

9. The teachers are unhappy about some parts of their jobs. They want more help in their classrooms. They care about children and want to do the best for them. It costs money to get more help in the classroom. So they are going on strike.

10. The people they work for don’t want to spend too much of the people’s money on more teachers in the classroom. They also care about children but think that money is needed for other things.

11. Everyone wants the strike to end. But the two sides need to keep talking and work it out together so they can agree with each other. They are doing that now.

12. Once they work out their problems, the strike will be over.

13. Hopefully that will happen soon and you will be able to go to school.

This is a difficult and stressful time for families. Parents’ lives are completely disrupted. Children are confused by the uncertainty, unhappiness and unpredictability they see around them. The calmer and more objective we are, the easier it will be for them to get through this challenging time. Eventually, school will start up again and everyone will work together to create a good learning environment for our children.

Here’s hoping!

Judy Banfield

Nelson

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Seven Nelson rec projects granted Columbia Basin Trust funding

Nelson’s baseball and tennis clubs were the big winners

Sanchez leads Leafs to 6th straight win

Nelson held off Spokane 3-2 on Friday

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

1919: Hudson’s Bay Company gets an addition, council votes to exclude ‘undesirable enemy aliens’

Greg Scott brings us five Nelson Daily News stories from a century ago

VIDEO: Historic night in Red Deer as 2019 Canada Winter Games kicks off

Star-studded Opening Ceremony features athletes from across Canada

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Flying squirrels found to glow pink in the dark, including two from B.C.

Squirrels from Hope and Abbotsford were included in the biologists’ database

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Wilson-Raybould resignation stokes anger, frustration within veterans community

Liberals have had three veterans-affairs ministers — Kent Hehr, Seamus O’Regan and Wilson-Raybould

Most Read