This article was originally featured on Momaha on November 14, 2016.
This week was full of election chaos. After one of the most surprising upsets in American political history, Donald Trump is the President-elect of the United States of America. Whether you are thrilled or terrified with the results of the election, you cannot avoid all of the social media commentary.
What is truly upsetting to me is all of the hate plaguing our lives right now. There are people on both sides publicly denouncing friendships, insulting families and, frankly, embarrassing themselves.
I realize this election meant so much to so many people, and it is OK to be excited, or to grieve for your candidate. But let us remember that we — the parents, teachers and neighbors — need to continue to set good examples for the children.
On social media this week, I’ve seen comments like, “He’s not my president, and I will make sure my children know that.” I understand that frustration, but there are two very important lessons that can come from the election: Accept that life isn’t always fair. And always respect others.
We all learn at a young age that life isn’t always fair. Johnny got more birthday presents than Matt, Jane is better at gymnastics than Sarah, Leah has a bigger house. As adults, people get passed over for promotions because of workplace politics.
If you aren’t a big fan of Donald Trump, this is a great time to teach your kids about being disappointed and keeping things fair.
If you are a Trump supporter, show your kids an example of something that didn’t go your way to keep things in perspective for the conversations they may overhear in the coming weeks and months.
Always be respectful. By telling your kids “he’s not my president” you are giving them permission to disrespect authority when they disagree with that person.
There will, no doubt, be a teacher in their future they do not agree with. But your child cannot go in, tell the teacher off and refuse to take part in the class. If she does, there will be consequences. Same with future bosses.
You need to teach your children to respect certain positions, even if they disagree. Being respectful is also important when you’re on the winning side. Gloating after a victory never got anyone anywhere. Let others grieve their loss in peace.
Many may not agree with me, and that’s okay. Just remember, we are the ones shaping the future citizens and leaders of our great country, so let’s stop all of the hate and negativity. Let’s be part of the solution and not the problem.
And most of all, let’s get back to posting cute baby pictures on Facebook!