Jared Kushner,Ivanka Trump,Melania Trump,Donald Trump

How to explain the election, Trump and your fears without panicking the kids

November 10, 2016
in Kids

President-elect Donald Trump arrives at an election-night rally in New York. From left, Trump, his son Barron, wife Melania, son-in-law Jared Kushner and daughter Ivanka Trump. (Evan Vucci/AP) As Tuesday night wore on and it became increasingly clear that Donald Trump would become our country's 45th president, Democratic strategist Van Jones articulated how the half of America who did not vote for the Republican nominee might be feeling at that moment. He called the results a “nightmare.” “It’s hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us,” the former Obama White House adviser said on CNN. “You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bully.’ You tell your kids, ‘Don’t be a bigot.’ You tell your kids, ‘Do your homework and be prepared.’ And then you have this outcome, and you have people putting children to bed tonight, and they’re afraid of breakfast. They’re afraid of ‘How do I explain this to my children?’” Whatever your political beliefs, this year's election battle — covered 24/7 by online news outlets, cable channels and your Twitter feed — was one of the most polarizing and bitter in history. And it ended with a populace that is on edge. Even before the final results, the American Psychological Association said, 52 percent of Americans said the race was a very or somewhat significant source of stress. Trump's surprise upset over Democrat Hillary Clinton appears, at least anecdotally, to have made the situation worse for many people. Children may be especially vulnerable. Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets are full of reports (some verifiable and some unsubstantiated) about how their anxiety is playing out: kids who are gay or Muslim being too fearful to get on the school bus Wednesday morning. Episodes of bullying in which kids repeated things Trump has said. Children expressing fears about conflict, war and their future. Daniel Griffin, a psychologist in the...

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