How do you tell the children?

imgresI kept reading over and over again from friends and people the same question “How do we tell the children”?

We pass on our own morals and values to our children.  We teach them to be respectful of others.  We teach them the difference between right and wrong.  Most important we want them to feel safe.

How do you explain to your children that their country elected a man into office who is a bully, misogynist, a racist, a narcissist, has taken advantage of several women including his wife, appears to have not paid his taxes for decades, has ignored all rules of civility and at all counts appears not to care because he thinks he is above it, is completely not curious, has not paid people who have worked for him, has filed for bankruptcy multiple times in order to not pay anyone but himself….ok enough but there is more.  How do you explain to them that there was obviously a lot of people who voted for someone like this even though they are educated and know better but because perhaps they are also racists but more than likely they care more about their own pocket book than their fellow person.

Your children ask you….how could this happen?  How could our fellow country people vote in someone who has never held office or understands the issues at hand?  We might have lost as Democrats but it isn’t like we lost to a fit Republican who just doesn’t agree with the same policies that we do.  This is a whole other ball game.

I can’t help but go back to 9/11.  Gathering our children at school and walking up 6th Avenue to our home.  The city was cast in a pallor of shock.  That shock continued for weeks on end and as adults we all realized our world had just changed.  I remember our kids asking us the simple question that we were asking ourselves….why?  Why would someone do this?  As a parent we answered in truth.  People don’t have the same morals, values and respect for others as you do.  There are bad people in the world.  People who hate us for the way we live and the freedom we have.  Not easy to understand at 9, 7 and 4 but you must explain to them the issues at hand even when you would like to shield them from it.  Unfortunately that day was a learning moment about the realities of the world.

Our children who are young adults are feeling unsafe, untethered and confused.  We have lived through different administrations but they have lived through very few.  The last 8 years have been uplifting and powerful to have a black President who is smart, curious, cares about people and by all counts tried to do the right thing at all times.  There was no drama in that White House for 8 years.  The only drama came from outside, in the Senate and the House, where they attempted to block his every move.  That was not pretty but that unfortunately is the politics that has made this country angry.

I am unsettled too.  This is not politics as usual this is something completely different.  I want to wrap my arms around our kids and say it will be ok.  I am not so sure it will be but we have no choice but to band together, try to understand what happened and realize that our morals and values are being compromised but we shouldn’t let go of them.