Talking To Your Kids About The Election

November 14, 2016
in Kids

Certainly the outcome of the election gives new meaning to the words parents have told their growing children forever: “You can be the president; anyone can be president.” What an election surprise. Regardless of for whom you voted, many parents are wondering how to explain the election to their kids. Not only must parents deal with and explain their own feelings, but you need to deal with your children’s questions and expressions of their feelings, fear and safety included. A parent wrote to me this morning, “My child was crying hysterically this morning, worrying that her beloved nanny would have to leave our family and go back to Mexico.” Another wrote that upon hearing the news, her child asked, “When are we moving the Canada?” And how do you explain the election results to your child when you have been simplifying the presidential race by saying what would happen if Trump or Clinton were elected? Now is the time to step back and think of what your child, depending upon his age and development, needs to hear. 1. Listen to your child. What is he asking? What is he worried about? What does he (and doesn’t he) need to know? Answer what he is asking only. Less is more. Wait before you talk. Listen and respond. 2. Model good sportsmanship. Your child is watching you to know how to react and to feel. Your child needs an explanation and needs to see how you deal with your disappointment (or happiness.) If you are a Trump fan, being a good sport means that you don’t “Na na na” the Clinton supporters. If you are a Clinton fan, now is the time to practice what you preach to your child every Saturday at soccer. Take the high road, it is the best choice. 3. Share with your child Obama and Clinton’s post-election responses. Both of these people gave “good sport speeches.” 4. Look for the positive. Hard as it is to find or feel it, children need to hear something positive. The doomsday script it not good for children. 5. It’s okay to be sad in...

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