Should children be brought to protests?
On Newstalk Breakfast this morning, author and parenting expert Stella O’Malley said it depends on whether the demonstration is guaranteed to be peaceful or not.
It comes as two separate protests were held in Dublin city yesterday.
Ms O’Malley said parents are free to raise their children “in accordance with their own values”.
“Sporty parents bring their kids to sports games and musical kids are brought to concerts,” she said.
“But political parents are more likely to bring their children to protests.
“I do think if the protest has any danger of becoming aggressive or distressing, it’s not a good idea to bring your child to something very combative knowingly.”
Simply put, Ms O Malley said it “depends on the protest”.
“Some protests we all know are going to be quite fun-filled at times,” she said.
“Others are a place for adults to figure out their politics between each other - which some people do in a less advised way than we would prefer.
“Exposing your children to that isn’t good for them.”
Ms O’Malley refuted the idea that passing on personal beliefs to children was a bad thing.
“You are indoctrinating your child from the morning they’re born,” she said.
“I indoctrinate my children to like good healthy food rather than processed rubbish.
“We raise our children according to our values and there is a vibe these days that we’re almost not allowed to do that because we should be raising them according to the State.”
Passing down politics
Passing down politics to your child is fine as long as it’s done healthily, according to the parenting expert.
“There is an awful lot of families all over the world who are being brought up to different values and other people who aren’t political feel queasy around that,” she said.
“They might not feel as queasy with the family that lives and breathes and eats music all day every day.
“It depends on the families; it depends on the values – but we do have to protect the right of parents to raise their children in their own way.”
Main image: A demonstration for Palestine at St Stephen's Green in Dublin, 13-1-24. Image: Sasko Lazarov/© RollingNews.ie