When Your Child Asks “Is Trump nice?”

Today my four year old asked me if Trump was nice.  She has asked me this many times before.  In the past I have answered this question very carefully.  I have told her that Donald Trump is our president and he lives in Washington DC.  Sometimes that answer is sufficient, but sometimes she continues to dig for a more direct answer.

“So he is nice?!”, she will asks again with a big smile.  She wants him to be nice so badly. I tell her his job is to run our country and protect us.  She thinks that means he is nice.  One day she even drew a picture of him and slept with it.  No joke.

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She drew President Donald Trump and slept with it. I told her to use an orange crayon. I could not help it.

The truth is that I very much dislike our president.  I can’t believe our country voted for such a man, but I can’t tell her that. I can’t tell her that I believe he is ugly on the inside.  I can’t tell her that Donald Trump’s personality is, in fact, a constant reminder of the importance as a mother to teach my children empathy, love and respect. I can’t tell her that he said a Mexican American judge can’t do his job fairly because of his heritage, or that people that come from Mexico are rapist and drug dealers. I can’t.  She knows my parents come from Mexico. She knows her dad’s parents came from Colombia.  She does not know about hate.  She is indifferent to people’s color of skin or ethnicity.  She does not know that the Alt Right is just a modern name for KKK, who believe people like us are beneath them, and we are a threat to their race. She is only four years old.

But today as I watched the President of the United States of America, President Donald Trump defend and excuse the “Alt Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, who marched with torches, chanting “Jews will not replace us”, “You will not replace us” and “blood and soil”, I was disgusted.  I could not believe what I was hearing. I could not believe what I was seeing.  How was this real? I was watching Trump’s speech on my phone, and my daughter asked me again, “Is Donald Trump nice?”  I thought about my answer.  I decided I had lied enough. I can’t have her think I was ok with this man’s words.  I can’t with a clean conscience call this man nice, even for the sake of my child’s innocence.  I need her to know where I stand. I want her to tell my grandchildren that I did not vote for that man, and I did not like that man.  For the first time ever I told her that I did not think President Trump is nice.  I told her that some people hate him, and some people like him. She asked me if her teacher likes him. Ugh, of course she has more questions! She will make a great reporter one day! I just hope someone like Trump is not around calling her fake news. I told her I did not know, but that many people in our town do like him, and so I don’t want her to talk about him with her friends.  I told her that I can’t explain to her why I don’t like him because she is too young.  I told her he will not be the president forever, and that one day she will be able to understand why people feel so strongly about him whether it is positive or negative. She was satisfied at last.

Are you honest with your kids about Trump? What is the right age to be honest about Donald Trump with kids?  How do they handle it with their peers? Please share.

 

 

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3 thoughts on “When Your Child Asks “Is Trump nice?”

  1. This is such a honest piece. My friends had to have similar discussions with their young ones the day after the election. Some of their kids cried when they found out he won because they had already decided on their own (by watching him) that something was wrong – they had a gut check on their own that said “this man isn’t nice.” It saddens me so much for their experience as they are starting to understand the words around them because it means their pure interpretation of right and wrong is going to get challenging as they meet friends and adults who don’t think he’s mean. It will confuse them in a way that we as adults won’t be able to explain away easily.

    Good Job mama

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We are American, but living in Sweden. This last year has been really hard with 2 kids under 10 years old. On election day they were afraid to go to school as many of their friends are from Middle Eastern countries….I had to explain to a third grader that his friends should not be afraid of us, that we did not vote for this man and we do not think like him. My oldest son decided he is not sure when he wants to go back to America, he finds it hard to live in a place where his friends would not be welcome to visit. They don’t care about brown or white skin, they only care if you are a nice person. Of course they recognize that people look different, and that is good, we shouldn’t be color blind, but teaching them to treat others how they want to be treated is hard. Harder when the leader of their country of birth basically says you only have to be nice to certain people. He is not nice, and I don’t think it is wrong if they know it! Great writing (I saw it on scary mommy).

    Like

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