Erin Stewart: Why we all need to take a knee

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Erin Stewart writes that she finds it’s more effective with her children to down with them, on their level, face to face, and actually try to understand the problem.

Take a knee.

I’ve never seen three words become so loaded so quickly. After President Donald Trump’s comments that NFL players should lose their jobs if they disrespect the flag, many football players, owners and spectators took a knee in support of Colin Kaepernick, who originally knelt during the anthem last year to bring attention to police brutality against black Americans.

All weekend, people rushed to be the first on social media to either condemn or support the #takeaknee movement. People accused the kneelers as being unpatriotic. The kneelers accused the standers of being unsympathetic to racial injustice and unsupportive of their right to free speech.

Essentially, everyone did what they always do: assert their moral high ground and proclaim everyone else evil, hateful, wrong, rude, stupid and anti-American.

As I watched the arguments back on forth on social media, I couldn’t shake the powerful visual of the football players kneeling. It’s not a position we take often in society, but it’s a posture I assume regularly as a mother.

When my kids are being difficult or defiant or downright buttheads, I usually start by talking down to them. I tell them what to do. I say why I am right and they are wrong.

If you’re a parent, you know exactly how often this method works. Never.

What does work, however, is when I get down with them, on their level, face to face, and actually try to understand the…

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