It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless. –L.R. Knos
I’ve been hearing from parents being overwhelmed about talking to their children about the messages that seen at the Women’s Marches last weekend. How do you explain the pussy hats? Do you talk about the video of Donald Trump a few years ago bragging about gabbing women’s pussies?
As always in talking with your children about difficult topics, start with talking to them about how they are feeling. Get a sense of what it is they want to know first, so you don’t overwhelm them. You might start with generalities and see where they want more specifics. For example, you might tell your child that often at marches, people say bold or provocative things to get attention about things they really care about. As this article from the Washington Post on parenting and the march starts out, you could clearly let your child know your values: “We don’t grab people by anything, we don’t make fun of anyone, and we don’t call people names.” Then, if it seems right for your child, you could let your child know about how your feel about our new president with messages that they can easily understand; perhaps, “President Trump has said things that show he does not respect women, people of color, people who were born outside the US; people in the LGBTQ Community. President Trump is trying to make changes to make it harder for these people. We can work in non-violent ways to talk to people in person or write letters to our leaders to make things fair for everyone.”
Take care of yourself by taking action. I especially appreciated # 3 of How to Stay Outraged Without Loosing Your Mind “Yes, call your representatives, but maybe make a contest of it with your friends, like you might challenge each other to achieve workout goals.” Any ideas for setting up an on-line community for us to support each other on that? And you could also let you child overhear you making phone calls to get you motivated.
As #4 of How to Stay Outraged says, take care of yourself as well as your child. Go out in nature together; prepare and eat meals together; start a Family Gratitude Practice
in joyful service,