Many of us woke up after the election with the expectation that Clinton would be the President-Elect. But we all know that isn’t what happened. Since our children are watching, we want to turn this election into a teachable moment so they can learn how to understand what this event means to them and how they feel about it.
So how do we help children cope with the reality of a President Trump?
It will be OK.
The first thing we do is remind that we love them, the sky didn’t fall, and they will be all right. What’s important is for parents to talk with their children about the outcome and help them regulate emotionally so they can think clearly with their minds and not through the lens of fear or anger.
Talk about their feelings.
Fear is contagious which is why with older kids parents should focus on helping them become aware of what they are afraid of happening. Often times their fear isn’t their own but someone else’s. They pick up on what other’s are feeling and if they are immersed in those emotions, they begin to take them on as their own.
Kids can easily learn how to go inside and discover where they are in all of the fear and chaos so they don’t get stirred up in destructive ways. The only thing required of the parent is to ask them how their child feels and then listen. If a parent allows a child to have his or her feelings, the parent begins to hear (and so does the child) that their fear is not solely their own – if it’s theirs at all.
When parents encourage their children to talk, their children begin to heal and learn how to become proficient at deflecting thoughts or feelings that don’t belong to them. Children also learn how to stand in their own power and use their voices like no other.
Admit you were wrong.
But what if you promised to your child that Trump wouldn’t win but he did. How does a parent deal with that? The answer is simple, you gracefully acknowledge that you didn’t see that one coming and you process it with your child. This is a wonderful time for parents to learn how to help manage their child’s expectation.
If nothing else comes from this election, the importance of education and mental health will take the spotlight. It is important that we focus on how to learn how to go inside and develop who we are as individuals and take responsibility to heal what has been hurting for a long time.
Check out this video for more information about how to comfort terrified children after this election.
Contributor: Jinnie Cristerna, LCSW, CHt
Photo Credit: everydayfeminism.com
Dr. Jinnie Cristerna, affectionately known as “The High Achievers Therapist,”, works with talented people to help them release emotional pain and psychological roadblocks so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. Specializing in clinical and spiritual psychotherapy, heart centered hypnotherapy, vibrational energy, meditation, Yhandi and RoHun. Sign up for Jinnie’s High Achiever newsletter, join her on Facebook and Twitter!