4 Key Messages Your Children Need To Hear The Day After The Election

As election results came in and a winner emerged, I received a number of requests from parents to comment on how to talk to children about the outcome. In particular, children who may have been disappointed with the results. Unable to sleep myself, I sat down around midnight to write some tips for parents.

And then came the feedback. Some were upset I didn't shame one candidate, while others thought it hilarious that this type of parenting advice was even necessary. Some chose to share their thoughts in a kind way and opened up a dialogue. Here is my response to one such reader:

"Dear reader, 

Thank you so much for taking the time to share how this post landed with you. It’s been a long election, and I share your relief that it’s finally over.

No matter who people voted for, the message was clear, people do not feel ok with the current state of our country. There’s been fear on both sides. And, the messages I shared in my post are the same ones I hope any member of our country would share with their children: There’s a lot of strong emotions, the fear mongering has scared children and grown ups on both sides, humans are resilient; we will survive win or lose, and we need to stop arguing and start listening. 

Both sides need to stop judging and start hearing. If a candidate I supported had won, my message would have been the same. We all lost with how much hate and pain was caused during the election. The only we way I think we can all win is if we work together. I am starting that by keeping an open mind, knowing that most people who differ from me on policy are wonderful, caring people who stand up against hatred, and listening deeply. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to do just that."

There's so much to write about what was modeled for all kids through this election, and I will get there. This was just the initial thoughts I had as parents reached out to me for some immediate help. 

I do mean what I said, I think we all have a great deal of listening to do. All of us, we need to hear each other so we can find a way to mend our hurt and anger, and pass along a successful democracy to our children.