What Do We Tell The Kids- The Aftermath
You tell them that words matter.
If you have kids you know that most everything, and especially the big things that leave your mouth often get regurgitated out of your kids mouth at school.
"My mom says santa is for babies."
"My dad yells at everyone on the road and calls them idiots".
The presidential election is no different. And as parents we should be wise when choosing our words about the election this morning. It is not ok to preach to our kids to be nice to other kids and not call them mean names, when mommy and daddy are yelling at the tv and blaming all the other (fill in the blank) people voted for a (blank man/woman). It is not ok to gloat and call all the other people in the world a (fill in the blank) because you knew your candidate would be better.
They are mirroring you. They see that mom and dad feel that this is important and because they trust you they believe what you say. And as strongly as you have the right to feel the way you do, they do not deserve to have that same opinion placed upon them, when they do not yet understand. And if your kids are old enough to have made their OWN conclusions about the election that is great. Just remind all of our kids that words matter. I love the story I read about of a friend of mine's friend. Her friends son asked her who he should vote for. "Rather than giving him a quick answer, she pulled up a short presidential candidate quiz and paraphrased the questions in an age-appropriate way. The questions that were a little too mature for a seven-year-old led to an “undecided” answer. After taking him through the series of questions and encouraging him to decide what was right and wrong, he had developed his own answer! I think we could all learn something from this momma’s approach to a very hard question!" I completely agree. But I am getting a little off track.
Tell them that bullying with words is still the same as bullying with our hands. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and some people are happy about the outcome and some people are sad. And THAT'S OK. In Life we cannot always control the outcome of our situations, but we can control how it affects us. We can control how we react and respond to a situation. Not everything will or will not turn out the way we expect or want it to, and we should be aware of how we respond to those outcomes either way.
Tell them that mom and dad will do the best that can to ALWAYS keep them safe. No matter who is running the country. Whether we feel that person is a good leader or not, they can always look to you for safety, guidance and leadership.
Tell them that we are the ones who matter. Our jobs as parents are to let them know that they will have the biggest impact on the world. The things we do daily has the biggest impact. How we treat each other has the biggest impact. How we help each other. How we respect one another. How we grow up to help the world with the gifts God has given us. That is how we will make America great again. And it starts at home. It starts with us. It starts with them. So don't mope around thinking the world is over woe is me. And don't leap and prance thinking your job is done. We all have a job to do. We are all making impacts on how the world works. And as parents we are all raising the next generation to rule and lead.
Our jobs do not stop with the presidential election. Our hopes do not end with the presidential election. We are a people who can build up this country and we can also single handedly tear it down. So be mindful when you approach your words and your actions today. Do your actions make you any better than the person you are rebuking on Facebook? And do your actions make you any better of a role model?
Our hope is not in someone we may or may never meet.
Our hope is in those little feet you hear pitter pattering down the hallway every morning.
Our hope is in the ultimate King...Jesus.