What We Tell the Children
In response to many people's day-after-election question.... "What do we tell the children?"
This morning a lot of disappointed people are asking the question, "what do we tell the children?" regarding the election results. As a mother of four, I have an answer for that.
First, you can tell the children we live in the greatest country in the world where we have a right to vote (a right that many Americans had to fight and die for, a right that others around the world WISH they had)... and yesterday, record numbers of people exercised that right - even people who've never voted before - and it was history in the making.
You can tell them that the millions of people who voted all love this country...and that that's called Patriotism, and it's a beautiful, inspiring, and powerful thing. You can tell them the American spirit is alive, that people do care, that they are very blessed.
You can tell the children that their country loves them, and that yesterday it spoke up in support of them... it confirmed that even the tiniest, unborn children are valuable, beloved citizens who deserve the chance to live in this great land, contribute toward its prosperity, and experience the fire of American pride.
You can tell the children not to believe everything they hear. That if people voted for Donald Trump, that does NOT mean they are racists, bigots, or deplorable.
You can tell them these people simply voted to remain a country of law and order. That we have rules, just like at home and school. And that you have to follow those rules if you want to come and live here. You have to follow the rules if you don't want to get in trouble with the police. You have to follow those rules if you want to work for the country.
You can tell the children that if someone breaks these rules and gets into trouble, it does NOT mean we are out to get them, or that we don't love them. It is NOT saying injustice doesn't happen or that it's right. It just means we love you so much we will do whatever it takes to try to keep you safe, and we believe in America enough to hold its citizens to standards and expectations.... just like moms and dads do with their kids.
You can tell the children that America is still very much Christian, like our forefathers were... Tell them a Christian nation is a blessed nation, a strong nation, a protected nation.
You can tell the children that people voted for Donald Trump because they love America, NOT because they hate anyone who is a different color, lives a different life, or comes from a different place. Please, please tell them that. Please.
You can tell the children they can learn a valuable lesson from yesterday... that lying and hiding things does not work. It always comes out, and there are always consequences. You can tell them trust is the golden chain of relationships, and that it's one of the hardest chains to repair once it's broken.
You can tell the children that yesterday was a shocker for you, but that it just goes to show anything can happen in this great country. The underdog can actually win. Anything is possible if you work hard towards your goal...
You can tell the children that Donald Trump is not perfect. That he's made a lot of mistakes... just like all of us have. And that's why we have to continue to pray for him, every single day. And that's why we have to forgive him.
You can tell them that he loves America, that has some new ideas, and that he is going to work hard for us. You can tell them we have to give him a chance to prove himself.
If you don't tell them any of this... if you use the election results to continue to blame, name call, race bait and stir the already-boiling pot of American division -- among CHILDREN, the next generation -- well, then.... shame on you. Shame. On. You. That's the most un-American thing you could do at a time like this.
I pray if you have the opportunity to speak to young, trusting, formidable children about the United States of America...I pray you will not attack the character of your neighbor and perpetuate the nightmare of the last 18 months. I pray you will rise above your disappointment, resist the temptation to plant seeds of division in future generations, and join us as Americans for the work ahead. We can't do this without you, friends.
I'm hoping American children aren't disheartened today.
God bless America.