“…incompetent pig…a serious psychiatric disorder…no knowledge of the world and no curiosity to learn. shitheads… (Roxy, there’s a time for this kind of language and it’s now.)…Abject dumbness…douche nozzle…hateful and stupid men…Aaron Sorkin, November 2016
These are phrases I remember about the first a letter to my daughter fad about then President-elect, Donald J. Trump, which received wide-spread media attention. The letter was addressed to Sorkin’s 15-year-old daughter, Roxy. Since then I’ve come across many a letter to my daughter/son/children. Who am I to judge one way or another what parents choose to say or do, or not say or do, with their children regarding the President of the United States- whomever that person may be? Are not such differing opinions what makes America great? What father in North Korea writes an open letter to his daughter stating such thoughts about the supreme leader of the land?
So, when I was asked: How should parents speak with their children about Trump and his public statements? The name calling and disrespect toward women and minorities? His statement towards other politicians…etc., I knew one thing for certain, my children had not received a letter from me regarding any presidency, but all the more I felt the weight of being a parent in the midst of acceptable hypocrisy. Double standards. Screaming irony. I understand Mr. Sorkin believes President Trump to be a hateful man, but does Mr. Sorkin understand that based on his open letter he can be thought of as a hateful man? President Trump and Aaron Sorkin are a million miles away from my IRL (in real life) world, so I thought it would be interesting to publish the thoughts of the three moms who went to the Trump rally that Reel Urban News covered back in the summer of 2016 in San Jose. I am one of those moms. None of us are rich, famous, or of any respectable status that warrants any kind of attention in our perpetually-indignant-outraged-offended-laden world. American-style.
“It saddens me when I hear from parents who speak about how fearful their children are of President Trump. I heard that a lot last Fall (2016) in my parent circles. I heard that a lot on election night while I was on a camping trip with my son’s class. I still hear it now. I hear it from the kids that I transport to and from school and class trips. I hear their parents’ voices. Sometimes I ask the older tweens/teens in my van if they always believe everything their parents say in response? The answer is usually “no”. Hmmm. Savoula
“First, ever since Donald Trump announced his candidacy in June 2015, I have yet to hear our President say anything against minorities or women. When I ask others, who say our President is racist or sexist, for an example of this, I have yet to have anyone give me an example. What do I tell my children? I tell them that our President Donald Trump is a man who loves our country with intensity and passion and makes decisions based on this love. I am proud to call him my President.” Christine
“Everyday I wake up with the hope of being faithful to walking the talk of what I teach my children. Every night I am in anguish of my short-fall. What do I teach? Candidly, I’m not worried about my children and what to tell them about President Trump. Setting an example of what one says is the highest-calling of any human being.” Cynthia
Let the words of my mouth and the thoughts of my heart
please you, O Lord. — Psalm 19:14, The Holy Bible
Inspire me to do the right thing, showing kindness,
honesty and fairness in all that I do.
Now that you have read the words of Savoula and Christine in conjunction with my own, all the more stark the contrast is of IRL and the world that is a million miles a way. Children are much more intuitive than society, even parents, ever gives them credit. On the other hand, adults give themselves, even parents, far too much credit regarding the effectiveness of teaching, “do what I say, not what I do.”