I’d be remiss not blogging about the election this week. Even though I’m far from a political expert, politics have touched my life in many personal ways. I live near our nation’s Capitol, have parents who ran a business for 30 years down the street from the White House, and met my husband on a blind date to an inaugural ball. As a journalist, however, I like to stay neutral, so for this post, I’ll celebrate the fact that we’ve marked a historical moment this week, that the candidate who lost gave a most gracious concession speech, and that we can all relish in being…post-election!
So I’ll share some relevance to parenting & politics…
— Modeling is one of the most powerful parenting tools you have to teach your kids appropriate behavior, language, and this month, accepting victory or defeat graciously.
— By engaging your kids in the political process, you’re empowering them in so many ways. You’re teaching them that their opinions count. You’re teaching them that even though people have different opinions, we have a process in place so that people vote to choose a candidate. Whether you won or lost this week, you’ve shown them that your family can make a difference, one vote at a time.
— This is a process, like so many things in life. It can start at your dinner table, where you debate different political viewpoints, modeling and coaching them on respect for different opinions. It continues when you watch debates and discuss tone, respect, preparation, understanding differences.
— There are parallels to so many other encounters in a child’s life – disagreeing in how a sport is played; negotiating on the playground; coming to terms with different opinions friends may have. The election is a perfect real-life playground to teach kids critical skills that will guide them through life.
— Most importantly, now that the election is over, we can teach our kids to respect whatever choice our country makes, regardless of our personal opinions. We like to use a sports analogy, which many young kids can relate to — A President is almost like a Coach — And as you know, coaches (& umpires) sometimes make calls you don’t agree with. Regardless, you respect your coach, as we respect our leaders, even when our opinions differ from theirs.
Amy at National Airport with both Candidates