Many parents were faced with the fact that they had to talk about the election results with their kids this morning–and had no idea what to say. We asked you, our readers, on the Kveller Facebook page, to tell us how started the conversation with your kids.
This is what you had to say:
1. “I told my son that Trump will have smart people around him to make sure he makes good decisions (not sure I believe that), and that we are lucky to have a democracy–and that other countries in the world don’t have that. I told him there are people who are having trouble finding jobs and paying high doctor bills, and they think Trump can help with that. I told him some people think change is a good thing, and an outsider can bring new ideas. Those were my best efforts so far, since I’m pretty sad at the moment.”
2. “I told my 8-year-old daughter that yes, a mean bully man was just elected president, but that maybe he will change. And that we are not a family of bullies and we are not mean and that will never change. Then I got into my car and cried.”
3. “I told them not to discuss politics at school. We are in the minority in our voting opinions, and I told them at their ages (9 and under) kids are mostly mimicking their parents. I don’t want other kids teasing them for my opinions.”
4. “We put safety pins on our shirts. We reminded ourselves that we’re safe with each other. Sometimes you have setbacks and disappointments, but it’s how you rally that matters. And it begins with being a safe place for others who are scared or need help. My husband quoted JFK “…ask what you can do for your country.'”
5. “I told my 14-year-old daughter that regardless of how people voted in this election that it is never OK for a man to grab her by the pussy. I asked her to tell her friends (we live in a very red state) that they will always have a safe place in our home. That they can escape hate here. That I was so, so sorry that this is the world she lives in, and that I would work harder to make it better.
She went to school today without getting dressed or brushing her hair. She said, “None of it even matters anymore. I am done.'”
6. “Told my students that if my generation chose someone who builds walls, it will be up to them to break down those walls.”
7. “I reminded my 13-year-old son to be strong at school, to look out for his Muslim friends with great care today. I reminded him that his friend whose mom was recently engaged to her girlfriend is feeling scared and sad this morning–to give her a hug and let her know you are by her side. I told him to be careful, that many racists feel emboldened today, and he might hear some horrible things about us and his friends–to not fight back, but to report anything racist or anti-semitic to the principal immediately.
We’ve got a small white supremacist group in our county and I fear they are going to take things up a notch. Now I’m wondering if I need to hire security for his bar mitzvah in a little over a week.”
8. “I just finished explaining to my 10-year-old daughter (who has spent the whole morning crying, terrified her friend is going to be deported) how we are going to fight for her friends and our family. My teenaged sons were already looking at Canada for college, that has now been decided.”
9. “I told Danny that this is like a sporting event and your team lost. You need to lose gracefully. Accept the outcome. And hope that the other team doesn’t gloat. I also told him that morals and values in our house override (or trump if you will) everything else that you are seeing in the political arena. I also told Danny that we are lucky. We don’t understand hopelessness and great financial strain in a way that many Americans are experiencing. And Trump spoke to them on that issue. And made many promises to help them. So they voted for them. He’s pissed. But he gets it.”
10. Tell them, first, that we will protect them. Tell them that we have democratic processes in the U.S. that make it impossible for one mean person to do too much damage. Tell them that we will protect those democratic processes―and we will use them―so that Trump is unable to act on many of the false promises he made during his campaign.
Tell them, second, that you will honor the outcome of the election, but that you will fight bigotry. Tell them bigotry is not a democratic value, and that it will not be tolerated at your school. Tell them you stand by your Muslim families. Your same-sex parent families. Your gay students. Your Black families. Your female students. Your Mexican families. Your disabled students. Your immigrant families. Your trans students. Your Native students. Tell them you won’t let anyone hurt them or deport them or threaten them without having to contend with you first. Say that you will stand united as a school community, and that you will protect one another. Say that silence is dangerous, and teach them how to speak up when something is wrong. Then teach them how to speak up, how to love one another, how to understand each other, how to solve conflicts, how to live with diverse and sometimes conflicting ideologies, and give them the skills to enter a world that doesn’t know how to do this.”
Ali Michael, PhD”
11. “I told them that they now have an even more important responsibility to look for, prevent, and stand up against bullies and hatred and discrimination. That people who view our new President Elect as a leader and role model may make poor choices and say awful things. I encouraged then to view this as a rallying point for people who oppose these ideas to stick together and create a stronger unity.”