Why I'm Proud To Have A Daughter Who Protests
You or may or may not be aware of the recent protest in Dublin for climate change. The climate strikes were attended by school pupils from all over Ireland.
It was reported that more than 11,000 marched on Dáil Éireann at lunchtime on Friday, 15th March seeking urgent action to address the growing threat of climate breakdown. There were in or around 37 rallies staged also around the country in solidarity with the global movement prompted by the Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg.
The students were fully supported by parents, teachers, third-level students, NGOs and members of the public which made the event even more important. Everyone got on board with the idea of it and helped make it possible for the young people of Ireland.
My daughter had asked me (earlier in the week) for my permission to allow her to attend the protest. As a parent, we don’t want our kids to miss school but when she explained why I was impressed by her “can do” attitude and how she cared for the environment along with all her friends and peers in school.
She was genuinely shocked when I agreed to let her head into Dublin on a school day to do her bit for climate change. Her expression and information into the climate change fight is quite impressive and for that alone, most parents would and should be proud.
Swedish teenager Greta is well-known now as being the force for such change and she is exactly the kind of role model all our teenagers should aspiring to. In a time when young people are more impressed with influencers and celebrities (though nothing wrong with that) we all know the need for change is massive and how this young girl proves that everyone and anyone can make a true difference.
So as my daughter looked at bus times, planned her route and sought out information in the day’s events, I couldn’t not support her. Of course, there were mini-protests staged in her school that were equally important but as my daughter is a 4th year student I didn’t think missing school for that one day would do any harm. She is learning the importance of standing up for herself, her school friends and for future generations.
We often categorise teenagers as being lazy, rude and moody (I know my daughter has her moments) but overall teenagers are damn impressive. The youths of today are striving for a change and they are using their knowledge and tools to amplify their message.
I have no doubt that Greta will be in the history books/websites in years to come as a beacon of hope in saving our planet and if our teenagers can be a part of that – how great is that? They are refusing to sit around and not tackle the issues that will affect their future children and grandchildren.
Chillingly, the earth is warming, there are more threats to it than ever before and these things are never going to go away. We need to be active in tackling this and let the experts know and the people in charge that we aren’t going to be quiet. The teenagers of the world are those people who are fighting, and they should be commended for doing so.
Well done to all the students who stood for change and are continuing to stand up for our climate. We need you, your youth, your ambition and your tenacity.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.