I have eight grandchildren of varying ages, living and growing up to be adults in several cities in this great United States. They all have different platforms, whether its beginning new jobs, attending college, high school or even preschool. They’ve had to deal with the bullying from their peers about mostly everything—from the way they look, to the clothes and shoes they wear—from their style and flair of dress, even to the cars they drive or don’t drive. However, in my view anyway, they are learning, to a certain extent, to deal with this kind of rhetoric and behavior.
Bullying has long been an issue in schools, though in the past year, something has changed. I’ve heard it from parents and my own kids. The say, “Kids are scared by the rhetoric they’re hearing.” What they’re hearing is now known as the “Trump Effect”.
Because of this rhetoric from Trump, some are using words like “terrified,” “heartbroken,” “scared.” And there are no patterns by age. This is happening to children of all ages.
How is this affecting the children? There are children who breaking down in tears. Mine are coming to me and their moms crying, trying to express why they’re feeling this way. They are very stressed and feeling very vulnerable right now.
What can we do or say to mitigate this damage, to alleviate fears? Some of the possible dangers could be real, and even we, their parents, are afraid. We are unsure about what to tell them. There’s no one piece of etc. What we CAN say is that they are safe right now. They are safe at home with us and at school.
Now that Trump’s rhetoric has gotten him elected President, we can tell them nothing happens that fast (though that’s not always the case). We can tell scared kids that there are checks and balances in the government; that even though someone is elected, it doesn’t mean what they say is going to happen. We can also remind them that most people don’t feel this way, and point out the allies. Provide the kids with positive role models, and positive ideals of themselves.
As we reassure our children, we also need to reassure ourselves.
Trump himself has said, “The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That’s why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular”.
I call it truthful hyperbole. It’s an innocent form of exaggeration — and a very effective form of promotion. So, we can listen to his rhetoric and can take wisdom from the words of Abraham Lincoln, “Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” Either way, we have to convince ourselves and our children of what it says in Ephesians 6:11; “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.”
Ron’s Mom: The Jet