Well, its finally over! Not the end of the world silly, the election. Last week, millions of Americans, stayed up well beyond their normal bedtimes, watching as the votes poured in state by state, until Donald J. Trump, was eventually announced as the 45th President of the United States in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one of them. I was exhausted and turned in before midnight. From a hotel room, nearly five-hundred miles away from my home, I slept, expecting to hear the sounds of AC/DC’s Back in Black–my alarm clock of choice–rouse me from my slumber. Instead, I was provoked by a call from my ten year-old daughter, informing me of the election results, but with an atypical quiver and the undeniable sound of disappointment in her voice. Wiping the sleep from my eyes, I was the second parent–along with my wife–to acknowledge her disillusionment, while reassuring her everything would be OK and that we could talk about it more in-depth when I got home.
I’m not alone, similar parents and families, in all their various forms, from all over this country, have already or are anxiously bracing themselves to facilitate hard, yet necessary conversations, with their young ones, about the election, and what that might mean for their own way of life and our overall country too. Watching as their impressionable, doe-eyed kids–some of whom are exuberant, while many others fearful, for good reason–stare in wonder as their parental figures stumble and stammer to find the right–and hopefully impartial–words of understanding and wisdom, during this historic, teachable moment. Parenting is hard, remaining neutral as a parent is even harder. Regardless of your political beliefs or party affiliation, parents have an obligation to their young ones to eliminate any fear, anxiety, and disempowerment they might be feeling, because, elections can bring out the worst in people, and can even make grown-ass adults act like bratty, whiny, annoying little children.
Young people, especially those in the grade-school to pre-teen years possess tremendous intellect and are actually quite resilient. Much more than we give them credit for sometimes. Nevertheless, if you’re in the silent majority of those who are struggling to find an avenue to initiate the conversation, just remember, powerful messages reside in the simplest of places. Today, I offer 10 children’s books, to help parents explain, just WTF happened in the 2016 election to their kids.
Well are you Mom? Obviously not everyone who voted for Trump is a racist, soulless, dangerous, misogynistic, bigoted, megalomaniacal, sexist, xenophobic, anti-Semitic, asshole like your Uncle Larry. Many people who voted for Trump are bright, intelligent people who don’t believe in things like that.
Can you find the Clinton supporter?
You’re going to have to explain why you and nearly all of your friends on social media, including Grandma, aren’t on speaking terms anymore. Remember the holidays are approaching.
Arouse their curiosity with a classic whodunit, or rather whydunit-type mystery.
Kids know a bully when they see one, but how do you teach them to stand up to a bully who just happens to be the President of the United States? I’d recognize that hair anywhere.
Why not start from the beginning? Delight your child’s imagination with tales of a once dominant force in our world, and how they were reduced to virtual extinction.
He was just kidding right? Right?!?
There’s sure to be a major shift in US economic policy, therefore what better way to teach your kids that it’s impossible to get something for nothing. Decisions, decisions. #TANSTAAFL
What’s all this talk of moving y’all?
Finally, what could possibly go wrong? It’s entirely too early to tell, and I’m guessing most of you are optimistic-realists like me. Although, it’s never too late to start preparing your kids for the worst possible post-apocalyptic scenario just in case. Say it with me children: “kan-uh-buh-liz-uh m”.
In all seriousness, take a minute, hug your kids and tell them you love them. Despite what may or may not happen in the next four years, one thing’s for certain–we’re all in this together America.