I am a resident of Palm Beach, Florida and have two children. I have always supported the Republican party and respected the president of our once great nation. This week my son came home with a homework assignment about an important person in history and he blindly picked President Trump. The paper my son wrote was disrespectful and appalling, but most of it true. I did not allow my son to complete the work and have asked for a new person of interest. While I do respect the White House, how do I respect a man making a mockery of our country? How do you talk to your children about the President?
Well, you are the first person to bring a political question to JAM (Just Ask Misty). I hoped this day would never arrive, but I will gladly give you my opinion.
Why are teachers putting children in this situation when our country (most of us I hope) is fighting the regressive actions/thinking of the current president? I think that if one child must write a paper about President Trump, they all should.
We all have lessons to learn from the Trump “presidency.” While your son doesn’t need to stand out as an activist at school, I would have encouraged him to rewrite the paper. He could have provided the same messages while communicating in a respectful and academically appropriate way. Being able to disagree with someone in a mature manner is a huge life and professional skill. One that is all too often overlooked due to how hard it can truly be.
I too respect the office. Therefore, whether I like him or not, the president is included in that regard, and that is what I tell my children. Fortunately, respecting a person does not mean you agree with them. It means that you disagree in an appropriate way. Which is also what I tell my children about disagreeing with any person, especially adults, especially me, and their dad.
The President of the United States is to be respected, but not followed blindly. A lot of parents are discussing the current leadership in our country in an openly, negative manner right now. This is a good thing if done right, but you can’t just vent about the president and use derogatory words. You must explain your opinions with fact.
Although, a good portion of what is wrong with the president’s actions are inherent truths for people that are not filled with ignorant, hate. Philosophies like: two wrongs do not make a right, are pretty simple to get on board with! It is also how you can justify respecting the current president. Do not follow him blindly, but also don’t allow him to change your level of respect for our country’s top office.
As a country, divided or not, we used our right to vote. The current system of the electoral college put Donald Trump in office. If polls are correct, most people do not like him. When has the country as a whole liked the president? I’m guessing never (guessing because I honestly don’t know), but we still got up every day and moved forward, just like we will with President Trump.
Remember, the president does not define our country, we the people, do! Also, the president is only 1/3 of the problem. We need to focus much more on who we put in congress. Teach your son to care about congressional seats just as much as who sits in the oval office.
We aren’t born hating and discriminating those that are different from us. We are taught and we learn from our environment. We must teach our children from the very beginning. Right now, President Trump is providing valuable lessons on what not to do multiple times a week!
So, what are we learning and what can we teach our children from this experience?
I teach my children about the freedom of speech. I tell them to speak honestly and respectfully. I teach them to care for all people. Hate and discrimination will not be tolerated and they should fight for human equality, always. I teach them that one person can make a difference and true leadership starts today! I teach them to speak up. I help them understand the responsibility of speaking up when they see something that isn’t right.
The tone of the election was unbelievably negative. Among the candidates and their supporters, we saw bullying, name-calling, and lots of ugly language. I encourage them to rise above the negativity and be positive, kind, and respectful to everyone. I believe this is what our country needs right now. I encourage you to teach your children about learning from others unwise choices.
If your son looks at President Trump and sees ugliness, then he will know that being that type of person is not for him. He will know that he is different from that person. That is a good thing. He can grow and mature on that premise.
Teach your son to be honest and kind, as that is all we truly need.