As the country continues to spiral in the wake of uncertainty as to exactly what the upcoming Trump Administration will look like, many parents are on the fence, still grappling with what to tell their children as various scenarios of unrest, racism, and violence spring up throughout the country. One parent that seems to have the right words for the situation is our current POTUS, President Barack Obama.
In an interview with The New Yorker, the president urged his daughters to face bigotry head-on. He recalls telling his children that, “people are complicated. Societies and cultures are really complicated. This is not mathematics; this is biology and chemistry. These are living organisms, and it’s messy. And your job as a citizen and as a decent human being is to constantly affirm and lift up and fight for treating people with kindness and respect and understanding.” The president shared a similar message with the American people shortly after the election, encouraging Americans to stay positive, encouraged, and know that they still can make a difference.
Continuing the conversation with your own children is essential. Make sure that they know to keep moving forward and not worry about this time being an apocalyptic foreshadowing of the end of the world. Urge them to use their voices, stand firm in the face of this ever-changing republic.
Let them know that, in the words of our 44th president, “The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line. We zig and zag and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back, and that’s okay. The point though is that we all go forward with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens, because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy.”