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.
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.