So maybe you've noticed that there's some really crazy shit going on in this presidential election. If you have young kids, you might be wondering how to keep them educated about world events and at the same time deal wth the uncomfortable questions that will come up. Here are my thoughts on the matter, and my general advice on
How To Talk To Your Kids About Trump
Let's get right in to it: how do you talk to your kids about sexual assault, rape, and presidential candidates who say, "take a tic tac and grab 'em by the pussy"? Here's the answer: you talk about it. What I mean is that you can't beat around the bush here. A lot of people just don't want to talk to their kids about uncomfortable subjects like these. Tough shit. You have to talk to your kids whether you like it or not. Just because you don't want to talk about it doesn't mean it goes away.
Taking a step back, you have to talk to your kids honestly and openly in general. This is something you have to establish early on. Kids deserve to know the truth. I'm not saying you need to bombard them with sex talk and whatnot, but you have to be prepared to give them honest answers. Here's an example: just the other day, my nine year old son asked me what a hooker was. I told him that hooker was slang for prostitute. Then I asked him if he knew what a prostiture was. He didn't. I explained that a prostitute is someone who has sex for money. He was content with that explanation.
Of course, that explanation wouldn't have worked if he didn't know what sex was. Why did he know what sex was? Because he asked about that at some point in the past and I explained it. I'm not saying I got into tons of graphic details. I just explained that sex was when a man put his penis in a woman's vagina to deliver sperm to the egg to fertilize it so that a baby could then develop and be born. Obviously that is a huge simplification. In my case it helps that my son is really in to biology and science in general, so we've had many opportunities to talk about animal reproduction. Once you have that groundwork down, it's easy to extend it to humans because we are animals. My sons also know what menstruation is and I'm very proud that they do.
Now you have a framework - your kids know what sex is. Then you build on that as appropriate. What is rape? Rape is when someone forces someone else to have sex against their will. What is sexual assault? That's when someone touches your private parts when you don't want them to. Again, this is a huge simplification, but it's sufficient to get the point across. At the same time, it give you an opportunity to reinforce the concept of body autonomy with your kids.
With all that background already in place, it's then relatively simple to explain to your child that Trump is talking about sexual assault when he says, "grab 'em by the pussy." Then you can explain that one of the reasons that Trump is a bad presidential candidate is that he supports sexual assault.
This applies to all of Trump's insanity. You might not know this, but kids are very aware of Trump's plans to build a wall to keep out Mexicans. My sons have asked about it multiple times. If you have open communication with your kids, they won't be afraid to ask you about the wall, about sexual assault, about racism, et cetera. If you have established open communication with your children, you can easily discuss all the reasons that Donald Trump is a vicious and disgusting human being and why he should never be allowed anywhere near the most important political office in the world.
Talking to your kids is all about the overall framework. There's a bizarre idea in our world that you have to "protect" your children from reality. News flash here folks: if you don't talk to your kids, they are going to hear it somewhere else, and they aren't going to hear the facts. They are going to hear some twisted version of reality that's been filtered through television and their peers. You have to get there first and give your kids the facts.
That's basically all the advice I have to offer. Start talking to your kids about uncomfortable subjects early, and respond to their questions with honest answers. I know it's hard. I struggle with it too. It's difficult to discuss uncomfortable subjects with your children. The good news is it gets easier the more you do it. Keep communicating with your kids, and keep answering their questions. Remember: children are the future, and we don't want that future to include a president who is totally cool with sexual assault.