Another presidential election is behind us—and, man, was it a doozie. You’re either elated, deflated, or apathetic with the results. I think we’re all relieved it’s done—at least for a few years.
Now begins the work to unify our country the best we can and keep moving forward. Our country has been doing so for over 200 years.
I’m hearing and reading of a number of parents who seem to be concerned about how to talk to their kids about the election. Mainly those who didn’t like the outcome. I’ve got a few suggestions if you’ve been concerned in a similar way.
Kids Take Their Cue From You
First, remember that kids will mainly follow your lead. If you’re upset, they’ll be upset. If you’re optimistic, they will be. If you’re worried, you’ll probably be creating unnecessary stress in them.
I believe it’s a vital role of every parent to model and teach how to roll with the ups and downs of life. Life is less about what happens to us and more about how we choose to respond.
So check your attitude and put a bit of thought into your words.
If you want to use this election as a teaching moment, here are a few suggestions of things you might include.
7 Things Your Child Can Learn From This Election
- There are no perfect leaders. Not in government, businesses, churches, or homes. As much as possible, try to believe the best of people.
Pray for your leaders. This is the natural follow up to the previous point. Especially when you might not be too excited about them. Christians are admonished to always pray for those in authority over us in 1 Timothy 2:2. Interestingly enough, when Paul wrote that letter, the Roman emperor was Nero—probably the worst of them all, especially towards Christians. So whether you like your leaders or not, pray for them to do the right things that we can lead good and peaceful lives.
Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Yet neither condition is permanent. If your cause is worthy, keep on learning and keep moving forward. Don’t get sloppy or arrogant when you win. Don’t give up if you lose momentarily.
You can’t be responsible for what others think, do, or say—only for what you think, do, and say. Elections tend to bring out the worst in some. Sad, but true. So when your child witnesses bad behavior, it’s important to remind them that we can choose to be better whether others do or not.
You are fortunate to live in a country such as ours—imperfect as it may be. Gratitude and optimism are infinitely better outlooks than cynicism and negativism.
Make your country better by being involved. Teach your kids that part of being a citizen is to stay informed, help educate others, and vote.
You can be a leader. Leadership is essentially influence. Cultivate the mindset that each of us needs to be constantly growing and becoming better versions of ourselves so that we can have a positive impact on others.
That should be enough to get you started. Seize these teachable moments. Just remember that your attitude, example, and outlook are extremely impactful on your child. Make the most of that.
Question: How did you positively instruct your child in regard to this election process? Share your answer in the comments below.