On Friday my eight-year-old marched alongside me carrying a banner we had made in our garden that morning. It explains, in her words (“human rights not border fights”), why we are missing school and work to protest against Donald Trump’s visit to the UK.
Children protesting alongside their parents for practical and ideological reasons is not a new concept – particularly for women, who remain more likely to have caring responsibilities that force them to choose between activism and childcare unless they combine the two. There were hundreds of families on the marches this weekend and every young body there brought certainty that the fight against people such as Trump will go on beyond my generation.
I am glad my daughter was there to witness and participate in the ritual of collective action when something feels wrong. I spoke to others who, like me, believe it’s our role as parents to gradually, kindly and sensitively introduce our children to the idea that all is not perfect in the world and demonstrate that our voices have power. It’s hard to balance protecting them from emotional stress and harm with inoculating them against the shock of realising that there are terrible people, huge injustices and violence in the world.