Getting Past Fear: How To Talk To Your Kids About Politics
Like many parents, you might be concerned about how to talk to your children about the current political climate. No matter who you voted for, it is clear there is division in our country.
School aged children are likely hearing about the news cycle at school during the day, but even very young children can sense strife and unease, though they don’t always understand what it is. To talk about politics with your children, the first step is for you to allow them to express what they are feeling. You can them do that by starting the conversation! Often kids don’t want to talk to their parents about uncomfortable subjects, because they don’t know how you will react. But you can talk to your kids about politics in a way that is safe for everyone. Here’s how:
- Discuss how to disagree without being disrespectful.
- Don’t vilify or dismiss others.
- Avoid name calling or put downs.
- Talk to your children about loving people despite our differences in opinions.
- Remind your kids that they are safe and secure in your family, and that they can come to you at any time if they want to talk about something or ask questions about something they may have heard.
Lastly, don’t forget to take care of yourself first, as your kids depend on the adults in their lives to feel safe and secure. If you are anxious or angry, your kids will notice, and they are likely to be more affected by your emotional state than your words. Try to set aside time away from your kids to watch news, attend to social media and to talk to your partner about your concerns. That way, when you are with your kids you can be present and focused on their needs.
Exercise your right to democracy, but do it in a way that models kindness and conviction, not hate and fear.
In February, our Curly Clues Club box is all about LOVE. Included inside is the book, The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi which has a wonderful story that can act as a springboard into some of this discussion of diversity and acceptance. Make February a loving month for your family. Hug your kids!!!