This election craziness really does put parents in a tough position. To be honest, I had no clue that my 4-year-old was paying any attention at all. Then, one day during the primary, there was something on the news about Florida. A reporter talking about Donald Trump said something about it being a close race in Florida between "the two men." That's when Emma looked up from her coloring book and asked, "Are they talking about Papa? My Papa lives in Florida." I told her no, but that she was right, her Papa does live in Florida. I thought that was that. Boy was I wrong. She followed up with, "Oh, Rubio. They are talking about Rubio." Well, color me shocked.
She knew what was going on - at least a bit. Thankfully that was before any of the real mud started flinging. Still, it's proof that kids pick up on things. Even if you don't want them to. And, I definitely don't want her to pick up on that nonsense. At all. Kids pay a bit more attention than we give them credit for. We've known for years that their little brains are like a sponge. It's true and I'd rather it didn't soak up any of this mess.
It's our job, as parents, to shield our kids from anything that might be a negative influence on their sweet little minds. That pretty much means leaving the television off of any news program whatsoever. As pretty big political and news junkies, that's quite a challenge for me and my husband. Still, there's just no option. The bad blood that exists between the candidates, their surrogates, spokespeople, campaign staff and what feels like every pundit in the business is impossible to miss. The nasty words, trashy videos and scores of horrible names being called is enough to bother adults that have seen and heard an awful lot over the years. Let alone those innocent little children.
So, what do we do? We head over to social media.
That's not much better, it's actually worse. But, it's for my eyes only. So, I sift through a few times a day to find out what is happening. There's always something happening. It's actually a bit too much for me to read about sometimes, but I want to remain informed. I take my right to vote seriously and I want to know what's what. Too bad my little girl can't really learn about this stuff other than what I choose to tell her. She can't watch what's going on. I know she's only four - and she asks questions like, "Does a queen bee wear a crown?" I know, she's young. I get that, but I also know that learning about the world we live in is important for her. Having her know how momentous something like voting for the next President of the United States is matters to me. It should matter to all parents. So, I will continue to do my duty and tell her what I want her to know, hear and learn when it comes to politics. I won't let her hear the ugliness of it all.
Of course, she has plenty to learn about now. Like how to tie her shoe and how to tell time. But, there will be a time when she will have to choose a president. I can only hope it'll be a new time for America. A less angry, less combative time.