What I Will Teach My Daughters About the 2016 Election

What I Will Teach My Daughters About the 2016 Election

It’s been 3 weeks since the presidential election. I wrote this post the day after the election but because social media was such a hot-bed of hate that day (and many days following – and still is in some places), I decided to hold off on posting it and wrote something very similar (but different) instead. I had no plans of ever publishing this one but was encouraged by a blogger friend that I should. I have chosen to not edit it and post it exactly as originally written.

It’s the day after a historic, game-changing presidential election. Social media is on fire. I won’t share for whom I voted yesterday; those who know me personally probably already know. But that’s irrelevant to this conversation because I am not here to take sides or share my political opinions. People are upset, outraged, and emotional, to say the least. People are wondering how this could have happened. How did America get it wrong? What do we tell our children?

I’ve seen countless headlines about how to explain this to our kids. I haven’t read the articles because I doubt my girls, being ages 2 and 4, will ever ask. But if they do, I know what I will say.copy-of-election-pin

  • I will say that while it might not be the case for all voters, sometimes people believe that there is no good choice so they use the information they have to make the decision they feel is better for the country.
  • I will say that’s the amazing thing about being an American; we get to choose and we get to disagree, but we should always do so respectfully.
  • I will say that even though Hillary didn’t win, she’s already broken the glass ceiling by being on the ballot and has paved the way for a woman to be elected one day.
  • I will say that they have a chance at being that woman.
  • I will say that millions of people who voted for Donald J. Trump did so with good intentions, whether justified in those intentions or not.
  • I will say that no one person or party will ever completely change or fix the many, many problems and inequalities of our nation; only God can do that.
  • I will say that the numbers tell us that half of America’s voters wanted to see a drastic change for many reasons and were willing to overlook deplorable behavior in order to make it so.
  • I will say to take hope in the fact that sometimes God uses “bad” people to do great things.
  • I will say that it is our duty as Americans to support our new president and respect his or her office.
  • I will say that it is our duty as Christians to pray for our leaders and for the prosperity of our nation.
  • I will say that they have the power to vote and that they should, every time, with prayer, conviction, and education.
  • I will say that they have the opportunity to change the world.
  • I will say that there will be many battles in life but in the end, Good will always win the war.

I know today is a big day. Emotions are running high for many. But today I will show love. Today I will show empathy. Today I will thank God for this great nation and for the opportunity to do what so many of us take for granted – to vote and openly voice our opinions. Today I will walk confidently knowing that God is in control and we will be fine. Our children will be fine; they learn more from us than they do from our presidents and politicians.

Be kind today. Our kids are watching, remember?

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    • December 1, 2016 / 11:15 pm

      Thank you so very much!

  1. December 1, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I seriously love this sooo much and wish you had published this the day you wrote it (although I understand the hesitation). My FB was full of outrage and name calling. It was honestly really sad to see how so many of my friends responded. I would have hoped for a more mature response. I love everything that you wrote and literally agree with every single bullet. Glad you decided to publish 🙂

    • December 1, 2016 / 2:29 pm

      Thank you SO much, Beverly! I guess I was afraid of the emotional responses I might receive. Thanks so much for your kind words and for your support! xo

  2. December 1, 2016 / 1:52 pm

    I’m so thankful my kids are too young to understand or even care, but I do think about what I’ll be telling them in the future as they get older. I’m still processing, even 3 weeks later. Thank you for posting this 🙂

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:54 pm

      Thank you, Emma! Maybe we’ll get lucky and they never ask! LOL

  3. December 1, 2016 / 1:40 pm

    LOVE this more than you could ever imagine! I actually did a similar post with my daughter because it was her first election! And to agree to disagree is EXACTLY what we did, lol! That’s why we are a country with the freedom to believe in what you want. <3

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:54 pm

      Yassss girl! Thank you so much! I need to check out your post!

  4. lovelyluckylife
    December 1, 2016 / 10:46 am

    Such a great post – I’m so happy my kiddos are also too young to “get it”; this election from start to finish was ugly. I love this: I will say that they have the power to vote and that they should, every time, with prayer, conviction, and education. – AMEN!

    • December 1, 2016 / 12:13 pm

      Thanks, girlfriend! I appreciate the love!

  5. December 1, 2016 / 2:03 am

    Love this! Thanks for sharing, Shannon. I know it can be a little difficult to voice out your opinions and concerns at times but I commend you and as a mother, I understand where you are coming from. You go, Mama!

    • December 1, 2016 / 2:44 am

      Thank you so much! It’s hard to stay neutral when you have strong opinions (like I do) but it’s so important, I think, when things are as tense as they are. Thanks for reading and for your kindess!

  6. December 1, 2016 / 12:24 am

    Your answers to the questions that our children may ask are so great.
    Although so many people, including my own family, are disappointed in the outcome of the election, we can handle things with respect.
    Thank you for teaching your children how to respect others, good job mama!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:41 am

      Thank YOU so much!

  7. November 30, 2016 / 10:17 pm

    Loved every single word you said. Glad you posted this and thanks for sharing. More people need to read and see the bigger picture. Only God is in control here

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:41 am

      Thank you, Erika!!

  8. November 30, 2016 / 5:05 pm

    I love this! While I’m not American, I followed it and was of the opinion that there was no good choice. I vompletely agree with what you’re saying and that the hateful anger is sad and such a waste of energy. Great post!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:41 am

      Yes!! Such a waste! Thank you so much!

  9. November 30, 2016 / 4:36 pm

    Such great and sound advice, mama! My daughter is too young to know or understand about any of this but had she been, I would have used any one of the reasons you listed. Thanks for sharing!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:40 am

      Thank you so much!

  10. November 30, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    Such great advice! One day I will have to tell my kids as well (right now they are 1 and 2)…. We don’t get into politics… so I pray I have the right words to say when I explain it to them.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:40 am

      Hopefully you’ll never have to!

  11. ceomombrand
    November 30, 2016 / 3:30 pm

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS!!!! It’s over & done with now all we can do it learn and move forward.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:40 am

      Yes! Thank you SO much!

  12. November 30, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    This is fantastically worded 🙂 I had a really hard time telling my son the next day. He’s only 4 1/2 but it was a bummer. I love that you keep a positive outlook!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:40 am

      Aw! Thanks so much! Thankfully, we never watch anything political with the kids around (they want to watch other things) so we didn’t have to talk about it at all.

  13. November 30, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    Thanks for this post! I’m hoping I’ll be able to say, it was all a big mistake, LOL!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:39 am

      The past 1.5 years in America belong on Punk’d! Where’s Ashton Kutcher already?!

  14. November 30, 2016 / 12:57 pm

    This was a great post. My kids don’t really have their own opinion on the election, well they haven’t shared it with me much. I think in part because they are kids, and because we live in Canada.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:38 am

      Ha! You’re lucky to be a spectator to the madness!

  15. November 30, 2016 / 11:56 am

    This is such a great post. My kids are young, too, so I didn’t have to have this conversation but I know what I would have said. I especially like the first bullet…everyone voted the way they voted because they thought it was best. I like that you’re reiterating that people are generally good.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:38 am

      Yep. People believe different things for different reasons; we don’t have to agree with it but we do have to respect it. Thank you for reading!

  16. November 30, 2016 / 11:42 am

    Loved this post when I first read it and still do now, so glad you decided to post my friend!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:37 am

      You’re awesome. That’s all. xo

  17. November 30, 2016 / 11:00 am

    I will tell my daughter to be kind. To be respectful (even if you disagree with someone). To learn about other cultures/lifestyles/new beliefs and learn to be inclusive. Try to find commonality and build on that. And absolutely that she can be anything that she wants to be! Great post Shannon!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:37 am

      Such great lessons! Thank you for reading!

  18. loveyoumoretoo
    November 30, 2016 / 10:39 am

    So very true. I love the part about respecting our leaders. Kids pick up on everything we say, and we have to be careful to be respectful with our words because they are watching. I am glad you posted this.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:36 am

      Yes! So much of what they understand about the world comes from us!

  19. November 30, 2016 / 10:29 am

    So well said, Shannon. Such a touchy subject, but you handled it with grace and I commend you for that!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:36 am

      Thank you, Lauren! Although I did vote, I’ve tried really hard to stay neutral in discussions through all of it!

  20. November 30, 2016 / 9:44 am

    Yessss! Brought tears to my eyes when you said you’ll tell them they have the opportunity to change the world.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:35 am

      Aw thank you! Our kids will be world changers!

  21. November 30, 2016 / 9:19 am

    I absolutely LOVE this post! Thank you so much for sharing.

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:35 am

      Thank you for reading and for the kindness!

  22. November 30, 2016 / 9:03 am

    Love this! Thank you for sharing! I would probably do the same. Tell my kids in a way that isn’t judgmental at all.

  23. November 30, 2016 / 8:05 am

    Looove this! SO great to teach your kids to agree to disagree and that we as American’s have the right to choose who our president will be.

    Xoxo Amber

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:34 am

      Yes, girl! Thanks for reading!

  24. twolittlerippers
    November 30, 2016 / 7:45 am

    I applaud you for writing this. All of it is true no matter which way you voted!

    I would say all of this and add that just because people don’t get their way doesn’t mean they should break things or hurt people.

    I have voted in 6 presidential elections in my life. Sometimes for democrats and sometimes for republicans. Reasons you vote for someone are complex and very personal.

    The kids will be fine!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • December 1, 2016 / 1:34 am

      OMG YES! I completely agree.

  25. November 30, 2016 / 7:43 am

    This is amazing – because it’s so true. It’s great to agree to disagree, and that’s what makes America SO great! And praying, it’s not mentioned enough, I love that you brought it up. Thank you for this post!


    • December 1, 2016 / 1:34 am

      Praying is THE most important! Thanks so much!

    • November 30, 2016 / 7:04 am

      Thank you, Patty!! Thanks for reading.

    • November 30, 2016 / 6:29 am

      Thanks for reading, girlfriend!

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