Have four years really flown by already? They have, and here we are gearing up for another presidential election as well as an exciting state gubernatorial election. Parenting life is crazy busy, so we dipped into the political issues that matter most to kids and families to help you guide your decisions.
Take a read through our exclusive interviews of two someones you should really know, candidates for governor Jay Inslee and Rob McKenna. They answer our questions about the kind of stuff that really matters to families: Education funding, jobs, marijuana and breastfeeding.
The only thing that might be more confrontational than politics to talk about is drugs, especially kids and drugs. But talk we must. This month we help you look for signs of drug use and figure out how to deal with the issue.
And hooray, it’s fall! Our fall family hikes story will guide you on a colorful tour of the best our region has to offer.
Read the entire issue online, or scroll down for links and cool online-only content.
Ages & Stages:
Everyone marks time. In our roles as parents, it feels exponential.
Not one item of last year’s clothing fit for back-to-school as my youngest launched into middle school. Her older sibs march with increasing responsibility as young conscientious and contributing adults, distant from those more turbulent teen years. Reading our monthly ages and stages articles reminds me of the many matters we’re so distant from, such as biting and time-outs. And of course, deep-pitted angst ensues as I ponder the kinds of issues we’re heading toward in the tween to teen years.
I went into a time warp reading “Five easy questions: What to ask before the sleepover.” Linda Morgan’s “fear, confusion and discomfort” at less than peaceful homes perfectly described how my junior high (Midwest for “middle school”) friends must have felt when they came to my house. As parents, our first responsibility to our kids’ health and safety implores us to diligently inquire about older sibs, alcohol and marijuana use, cyber patrol, or even guns at the homes our kids visit.
Is there anything like the four-year measure of a presidential election to better mark time? How different were you feeling four years ago as we entered the end to the raucous McCain-Obama contest?
As parents, how do you feel about charter schools, teacher performance measures, and the legalization of marijuana? We’re hoping to sharpen your thinking as parent voters with “Vote smart!,” and our side-by-side interviews with gubernatorial candidates McKenna and Inslee.
I was given the ultimate challenge this political season by a 21-year old who insisted that I strip my life-long definition as democrat and think more broadly as a political pluralist.
Both candidates are deeply committed to families and education and don’t vary greatly on social issues. At first, I was fine letting my decades-long party label rule the day. After many careful inquiries about the differences in our candidates, I personally land in support of Rob McKenna.
McKenna’s crisp, clear and detailed plans for education, support of charter schools, clear call for teacher performance — not just seniority — were the trip wire for me. McKenna has also shown a true commitment to the state and its people in unglamorous ways, including his personal commitment to bring state and national leadership to the fight against modern day slavery and strengthen efforts to end human trafficking. I probably would not have embraced this challenge had it not come from an amazing, intelligent and thoughtful young man, my 21-year old son Eli. I continue to be committed to President Obama’s re-election.
As a family, we continue to raise each other well. We’re progressively better parents through all the turbulence of growing up together — and accepting one another’s influences.