During this election week, as a psychoanalyst it is apparent to me that children and their parents are facing this week’s voting day with much anxiety. Children mimic their parents’ words and who they say they are voting for. Teens may have their own opinions, but what are they based on?
It’s our job to use Parental Intelligence to help our children think with complexity. To examine facts and the details of issues, rather than toss words around like killer, fascist, liar, crooked. We must set the example by showing how people collaborate in their thinking by sharing soundly thought out ideas and points of view. We must set the example that we believe a president should be humble and honorable.
As a parent you may need to simplify some issues so your kids can understand them explaining the meaning of words like immigration, tolerance of diversity, compromise, and negotiation. Don’t underestimate their interest in these topics. Teaching kids to think wisely and carefully is part of our job when we use Parental Intelligence to understand what is going on in their minds.
When you voice an opinion back it up with facts, so your children will do the same. Teach your child how to research a topic not just come to some quick conclusion about something they hear on the news.
You will strengthen your child’s bond to you when they learn they can trust your ability to think rationally and with a moral conscience about whom you decide to vote for. And in the aftermath of the election, discuss with them the potential positive and negative consequences of the new presidency.
Above all, teaching our kids to think by sharing well-thought out opinions, viewpoints, feelings, and beliefs is a parent’s sacred job that will prepare them to grow into healthy, secure human beings.