By Jaya Pandey
As parents, we are everything for our kids, a friend of mine says –job description- cook, teacher, driver, cleaner, launder, planner, organizer, care taker, personal assistant, nurse and many more. I am sure you can add some more to that. Last 3 weekends I learnt a new term- we are “change agents” for our kids.
I, with 18 other parents took part in MFOCF’s family leadership series . When I applied, and got selected for I was not sure what will this entailed for. All these conferences bring a new perspective in life and teach something new and widen our world. I knew we will learn about laws and process. What I didn’t know how it will change my philosophy.
Growing up in India, the corrupt political system turned many of us away from any civic duty, we were turned off by the ugliness of the system and decided to not do anything with it and eventually moved out from India. Decision to move out of our home wasn’t easy and we had to factor in many things but corrupt political system and harder life due to that was a major reason for many of us.
I got to know about this series and decided to take part in it. I didn’t know much about it but the desire to make things better for our kids prevailed and I signed up for the program.
The first session is always exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Meeting new parents, listening to their stories and struggle and then seeing their determination- it’s all very heartwarming and inspiring.
The first weekend made me realize this series was something I had never done before. It was all about getting our voice heard on a bigger platform. It was more than IEP or inclusion or school system, It was all about our and our kid’s vision for their future. We learnt that our politicians need to hear from us so they can make informed decisions. Passing a law is always not all about doing the right thing, It could be about our opinion and getting our voice heard.
I realized I didn’t know so many of these steps. Never thought the leaders will be so accessible. By the end of series, the parents who are the change agent came out as a force to reckon with. I learnt so much more about myself through other’s. Many of the activities made us aware of our strengths and weaknesses, gave us tools to deal with our struggles and disappointments, above all we all became part of a tribe. Our special tribe. we went to state house the last day to be part of something we never imagined. We took a vow to never give up and keep working for a better future. Not only for our kids but many more who need their voices heard.
You can read more from Jaya at her blog Mom Loves Anand