What Should You Teach Your Children Now That Trump is President?

by Ivy B
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As a parent myself, I am beginning to understand the anxiety behind what we teach our children about the presidential election.  Every year, I feel our Presidential candidates are getting grimier and grimier.  The debates surrounding the elections are getting more heated (or maybe I feel that way because I’m finally listening).  And, people are becoming much less tolerant of each other’s differences of opinion.  It’s a harsh world we live in.  There’s a lot to teach our children, but we need to teach them more than just about the current president, and teach about all the presidential candidates, the election process, and what happens (or should happen) after the elections are over.  Trump is President, and you may or may not like it.  But, you need to teach your children the same things during every election in the future, regardless of who the candidates and elected Presidents are.

The things you should teach your children now that Donald Trump is president looks a lot like things you should be teaching them anyway

What to Teach Your Children Now That Trump is President

This list isn’t just for the Trump vs Clinton election … use these teaching points for any and all future elections.  Regardless of who is running for President, these are the things you should teach your children:

Not everyone feels the same way

Whether or not you approve of the new President, some of your friends and family members do.  Teach your children that people think differently and it’s okay!  Our differences makes this world a much more interesting place to live.

Check out these tips on how to teach diversity to young children.

Be respectful

Practice tolerance and respect others who feel differently.  Regardless of your opinion, teach your children to act kindly toward others who think differently.  Respectful conversation is key to great friendships, but that starts with being willing to listen to others and not close off lines of communication.

He is your President

You don’t have to like it, or admire him, but he is the person who was voted into office.  Teach your child some basics about the voting system, trying to stick to only factual points about an election.

Be a good sport

Speaking your mind about the end result is okay, so long as you do so respectfully, and in good taste.  If you support the new President, don’t gloat and certainly don’t rile up your neighbor.  If you aren’t happy with the result, that’s okay, too!  Get active in some healthy way to make a difference.  But, teach your children that riots, name calling, violence, and destruction of property are not healthy or acceptable ways to disagree.

Explain morals and ethics

Be honest with your children about every presidential candidate’s stances and beliefs.  Please be sure to be fair and discuss the negatives of your candidate of choice as well.  And, try to be as factual as possible.

Be a good person

Explain that regardless of who wins an election and whether or not they’re someone to look up to, doesn’t mean we should act like them.  Teach your children how to be good citizens without regard to how the rest of the world acts.

As I wrote this, I realized this is basically a list of things we need to teach our children every day of the year, except that I added a bit about elections.  It’s the truth.  Most of these things I already aim to teach my daughter, and I haven’t even yet had to begin discussing how horrible these elections have been.  Even more so, completely grateful she hasn’t been exposed to the violence resulting from the new that Trump is President.  I just wish the people involved in the riots and violence had learned some of these things I hope to teach my own children.

Along the same lines … check out how I think you can end mommy wars.

What will you teach your children about the new President and the election?

 

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18 comments

Amber February 3, 2017 - 9:32 am

LOVE THIS POST! My son is 5, I have used this election to help my parenting. I have been talking a lot with him about how everyone may not agree, but you have to respect others. The world has gone crazy and even though I try to hide the news from him, I know I still have to teach him what is right.

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Ivy B February 3, 2017 - 10:04 am

Thanks for stopping by and leaving such a wonderful comment. You’re right … it’s definitely gone crazy. I sure hope we can teach our children not to follow suit! 🙂

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Jessi February 3, 2017 - 11:09 am

I really liked this post. I won’t lie, i went into it thinking it would be some political rant but I was pleasantly surprised. Me personally, I voted for Gary Johnson and have numerous reasons that I am rather proud of it. I do think that we need to be tolerant of others, and also stand up for what we believe in. Thank you for this.

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Ivy B February 3, 2017 - 12:17 pm

Thanks for the comment! I try to keep my political views out of posts because I know it can get way too heated, but this was my way of trying to help us find a middle ground. As an aside: I, too, voted for Gary Johnson but I’m not totally against Trump either.

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Jessi February 6, 2017 - 8:45 am

I can’t agree more. And it is always fun finding another person who voted third party… I feel like we are few and far between….yet growing
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Ivy B February 6, 2017 - 9:14 am

My husband tried to tell me it was the wrong choice (obviously because it didn’t help either side), but I had to remind him that no vote was a total waste. It didn’t count for much, but I and many others voiced their concerns with the two major parties by voting the way I did. I wished I could have backed one of the other two, but I didn’t feel safe with either.

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Melanie Davis February 3, 2017 - 12:57 pm

What a great message! These are definitely things we need to talk about with our kids every day. I tried to explain this to my 18-month-old last night, but it was a no go 🙁 Maybe next election! 🙂

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Jeffrey February 3, 2017 - 4:18 pm

Should one really be tolerant of those who are intolerant? That doesn’t make much sense to me. When the presidential debate is about economics or the details of immigration policy, ok, everyone has a different opinion and we should respect that. But when the president is a misogynist, a racist, a liar, and someone who doesn’t listen to experts (including scientists and the CIA), things are not normal. Democracy is not working properly when that horrid a human being is elected president and I therefore don’t think it is healthy to speak to children about democracy as if it were a flawless institution. Maybe that’s why you end up with clueless and complacent imbeciles voting for the likes of Gary Johnston (see above) without really worrying about who actually becomes the president.

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Ivy B February 3, 2017 - 4:35 pm

And you’re a prime example of the reason for this post – teaching our children that a debate doesn’t involve name calling and bashing others for their choices. Do you know what lengths of thought anyone took to vote for whomever they voted for in the election? You’re making an assumption that it wasn’t thought out. You don’t have to like anyone’s choices, but don’t go making the assumption that you know why they chose who they chose or how much (or little) time it took them to make those choices. Exactly why I said our choices these days seem to be grimier. I also never suggest that anyone pretend any of it is flawless. Just like I suggest, if you don’t like it, get active in a healthy way to make the changes you wish to see instead of trolling the internet spreading your hate. P.S. – the other candidate wasn’t exactly a stellar role model either.

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Kristie February 4, 2017 - 4:44 pm

I couldn’t agree more Ivy.

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Savannah February 4, 2017 - 3:53 am

I opened this thinking it was going to be a long political rant, but I was so pleasantly surprised by it! These are such important lessons to teach kids, and I can’t wait until my son is old enough to begin understanding the way our government runs and operates. Teaching children to love in the face of anything is so important, and that should be taught no matter what. Thanks for sharing <3

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Jamy @ thencameboone.com February 4, 2017 - 4:45 pm

I was pleasantly surprised by this post as well. My daughter is 8 and had a mock debate and voting poll at school this year. It was a perfect introduction to talk about politics with her at home. Teaching her to find the good and bad of both sides, and accepting the results either way. We also went over sticking up for what you believe in, in a very healthy way. Thank you for this very neutral post. ?

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Kristie February 4, 2017 - 4:46 pm

There really are some important lessons here. Respect is a good one. But we also want to make sure we teach our children to stand up for what they believe in and let your voice be heard.

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Jasmine Hewitt February 4, 2017 - 5:29 pm

Very surprised by this post, and love your perspective. It’s sad when people resort to name calling and violence because an election (or anything really) doesn’t go their way
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Jaclyn Bree February 5, 2017 - 5:46 am

LOVE THIS POST!! (I swear, I already planned to say that before I saw the first comment …). I’m Canadian and I am just so stunned at the way not-just-Americans are acting towards each other based on who their candidate was! It is shameful! I remember growing up and asking my dad about elections and the parties and such and two things stand out: A) he never even told me who he supported and B) I could never guess who he supported based on the pros and cons he told me about each. I really think that is how it should be. I think political opinions are private. I really hope lots of people read this post so that maybe the next generations will act like human beings, rather than animals, when they find themselves in a controversial election.

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Ivy B February 6, 2017 - 9:13 am

That’s great to hear. My husband and I speak very openly about our opinions of candidates, but as my daughter gets older, I need to remember to have more unbiased discussions so that she can make her own choices.

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Tina February 8, 2017 - 2:16 pm

This sounds so much like the conversations we had with our 4 kids (ages 2-8), throughout this election. We talked about basics when it came to what one side or the other was for, kept character references out of it (because we will always teach them that someone they do not know is not the role model to pick), and above all, we taught them to show respect for people. You may not agree with them, but at least try a little empathy. Put yourself in their shoes and see why they may feel the way they do. Calling somebody names for their opinion does not make you the better person. Ridiculous that people do that! I also took the opportunity to remind them not to put people in boxes. Being a democrat or republican for instance, does not make up all of you. A person can be a conservative republican, but still be okay with same-sex marriage. A democrat can be against abortion. The world would be crazy-boring if everything was that black and white! The worst thing I’ve heard through all of this is people questioning parents in an almost accusatory tone on how they will explain all this to their kids. My answer in one of my blog posts – with my mouth. Just like I explain everything else!

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Ivy B February 8, 2017 - 7:33 pm

Hi Tina! Thanks so much for your input. I especially agree about not feeling like we should be limited to a particular party … I certainly consider myself one party, but don’t agree with everything associated with that party. I’m grateful you included that point 🙂 Thank you!

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