By Nick D’Andrea
Thinking in 3D
It’s been a week since the election and I must say I am very disappointed in what I have seen and to be honest I have tuned out. I am not disappointed because I don’t agree with anything that is going on, but the fact of the matter is that people are saying some hateful things unprovoked and unwarranted and it flat out makes me sad.
The big question over the past week is “How do we talk to the children?” Maybe I am trivializing this but I didn’t find it to be as big of a deal mainly because my daughter is 7. If I can get her to remember to brush her teeth in the morning it puts me that far ahead.
I have one rule that I have applied in my life, my work and my coaching. It is that you can’t get mad at something that hasn’t happened yet. So it is imperative that I teach my child to look at things with an opened mind and to not have myopic viewpoints. To think that any of this election will have any lasting ramifications on her, I feel, is absurd. Why? Because she’s 7.
My daughter over the last year has become obsessed with Presidents and their life history, namely Abraham Lincoln. There is actually a video of her at The Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. sprinting up the steps and me behind barely able to keep up. She loves to read about him and has several books on him and was ecstatic that we surprised her by taking her to Gettysburg so she could stand where “Honest Abe” gave the Gettysburg Address.
She took an interest in the election this year and I was happy to answer any questions that she had. Her summer reading consisted of books about Lincoln (shocking), President Obama and Secretary Hillary Clinton. She soaked it all up and would give me continuous facts about all three. She did have trouble digesting that Hillary was (dare I say it?) a Yankees fan. Unfortunately there were no children’s books on Donald Trump, not that that it would have swayed her “I’m with her” feeling about the election. Her innocence about the election was what I found truly remarkable. Not once did she come home and tell me of the horrible things being said about children. Which leads me to believe, she paid it no mind or it wasn’t happening.
What my daughter doesn’t realize is that this election impacted her family more than she knows. Her grandparents, one of her uncles, one of her aunts and her dad are in fact immigrants. All of us here legally she was never led to believe that a Trump presidency would take her family from her. Why? Because she’s 7.
She doesn’t think her father will be ridiculed because of the deformities on both of his hands. In all seriousness I don’t even think she has even thought of it. Why? Because she is 7
The conversation at the bus stop on November 9 went like this:
“Daddy, who won the election?”
“Donald Trump did honey”
“Honey, this is what happens. We have elections and we vote our leaders into office. Sometimes someone we don’t support or like will win. That’s ok. It just makes us want to try harder to help that person or find someone we can support and vote for the next time. In some instances you can even try to run yourself. Do you understand?”
“Is that why you ran for the election?”
“Yes, baby, it is.”
“Ok. Daddy, I love you.”
We haven’t spoken about it since. It is my job to make sure my daughter understands and respects the process, no matter the outcome. I want her to learn that it is ok to have a difference of opinion with people, especially her friends and family, and to respect those opinions. I want the election process to inspire her to truly believe that anyone CAN be president. Lastly, I want her to understand that she may not agree with the President, she may not even like the President, but there is a respect for the Office of the President. Respect the process, respect the results, and respect the office. I think the baseball widow and I have done a good job in teaching that.
It’s not my job to indoctrinate my daughter. Why? Because she’s 7