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.
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.
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?