Parenting and Effectiveness

“what if your role as a parent is making you more effective in social change…” This is a relatively novel idea–even mind blowing.

Jidan Koon, Deputy Director of Mobilize the Immigrant Vote, California, recently wrote a piece for the Movement Strategy Center’s Let’s Talk blog series, Movement Lies We Tell Ourselves, on the effectiveness of parenting on social change. Many of us struggle with commitments to our families and the work that we do. Often we compromise one over the other. Rather than two opposing sides, good work and healthy families are parts of a reinforcing cycle that creates more change than not.

Jidan takes things a step further and breaks down this logic into four feasible realms:

Priorities
“If I thought 25 hours in a day was the Holy Grail before kids, 30 hours wouldn’t begin to cover it after kids.”
Even those without kids can relate to this sentiment. Setting boundaries on your time creates for, “…what the Social Transformation Project calls strategic disciplined work, rather than busyness.” (thanks for the S/O, Jidan)

Negotiation
“Finding this win-win perspective lies at the heart of negotiation.”
Jidan correlates the negotiation tactics used in movement-building to parenting. Many of our organizations used to act solely out of self-interest to our missions and sectors. But we now are building a framework that considers the whole, maximizing the impact of all our movements for greater change, “…what Movement Strategy Center calls a ‘movement pivot.'” The same goes for parenting, adjusting our mindset so that both parent and child; co-parent and co-parent; brother and sister, and so on, operate in a collective framework.

Honoring Life and the Longview
Parenting is a direct line to why we do this work. It reinforces how truly special each life is, and that we do this work with the goal of equality for the living, protecting our earth, and a just life for the future generations that follow us.

Read more from Jidan here.

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