The Day After

I had the privilege of volunteering in my son’s kindergarten classroom today. My job was to go over an election work sheet and help the children cut out and paste answers to questions about what happens on election day, who was running, where the president lives, etc… Pretty benign.

I was surprised when some of the children started volunteering who their parents’ had voted for. Per my earlier rant post, I did not share with my kids whom I voted for, despite the 6 year old’s continued pleas. But the children were all pretty cute today, telling me about going to the polls with mom or dad and laughing when I told them the president’s office was shaped like an oval and about the stickers they received.

And then…

One very adorable, sweet little girl pointed to the picture of one of the candidates, made a disgusted noise and said, “Ew! He’s the bad man.” I’m sure my mouth hit the floor while I tried to play if off.

“Sweetie, he’s not a bad man. Both men want to help the country very much.”

“No! He is a bad man. I’m going to color an X over his face because he’s bad.” And she vehemently went to work on just that.

As parents, we need to be so careful about what we say in front of our children. Whether you’re talking about the presidential candidates, a neighbor, your in-laws, your boss, our children hear everything. If you speak in judgmental tones, so will your child. How sad that this little girl will now think that our presidential election was about good guys and bad guys when, quite honestly, anyone who wants to volunteer for the most thankless job in the world is worthy of respect regardless of whether you agree with their ideology or not.

Honestly, I am very saddened by this. Sad that it’s come to this. To kindergartners repeating hateful words about people who deserve our respect. How can our country come together to solve our problems if we’re raising our children to perpetuate it?

It was a wake-up call for me. I’ll certainly be watching what comes out of my mouth. You never know where it will be repeated.


5 thoughts on “The Day After

  1. It's so sad, and I've been trying hard with what I say to my kids. I decided that I would tell them who we are voting for and why. But we also explained that people disagree, people believe and think different things, and that's fine. No one is “bad,” or even “wrong.” (Even if I may personally think someone is wrong… that's not what I will say in front of my kids.) It's a difference of opinion, and differences are just fine.

    I'm just so glad all of the commercials and robo-calls are over.

  2. The one thing about living in a state that's a foregone conclusion is we had maybe 3 ads run, all from PACs and they only started a few days before the election. The only robo call we received was a misdial from a congressional race in Missouri.

  3. Monica,

    I am not sure where any of these people get off. I am all for having an opinion, but the way we were raised is that you don't attack people. That said, people take for granted their right to do so. In many countries, that little girl would have been maimed or killed for her beliefs along with her family. It is unheard of to speak poorly of the president. So many people let hatred consume their lives and they don't realize what an influence it has on the people and children around them. Angel is very opinionated. She is a little more vocal politics wise (and she is 13?). I explained to her that the way my dad raised me was there are three things you never discuss: salary, religion, and politics at work. To me that carries over well beyond work because people are just too intense nowadays. I just don't get it.
    I love reading your blog. I get so excited when you post!

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