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How do I talk to my kids about the election and current political climate?

by Carrie Nickell, NCCS Middle School Counselor

In many families, regardless of political preference, emotions run high regarding the election, and as parents, we may fail to remain cognizant of what our children are learning from our response to the current political scene. Consider stopping to ask yourself, “What are my children learning from my words, my attitude, and my nonverbal behaviors?” Research notes that at least 70 percent of communication is nonverbal.  What are you communicating to your children? No doubt they feel the strong emotions, and often they don’t know how to put any of it into perspective in light of our Christian faith.  

Kids of all ages look to parents and often emulate what they perceive to be appropriate responses.  You might want to check in with your kids to see how they are feeling and what their perception is.  Do they know that your ultimate hope is not in politics and your faith is not in people, but rather in a God who is mightier than any person can ever be?  Do they know that what is central and most important is that we trust in God, follow Jesus, and serve Him with our lives as we serve those around us?  We want to teach our kids that God is the ruler of our hearts, and that He is our ultimate authority, that we submit to Him, in all situations.  

Perhaps it would help us as parents to stop and ask ourselves some questions that help us to put things in perspective.  Is God surprised by anything going on in our political world?  Is God stressed out, worried or afraid?  Does God want us to live as a divided nation?  How does God want us to respond as His followers?  Hopefully our children will see Christ in our response to the current political outcomes.  He will always be our ruler, our king whom we worship with our lives, regardless of whomever we elect as president of our nation.  

Although this article about the election was written on 10/15/20, before votes were counted, the recommendations from this Christian mom are pertinent to how we handle conversations about the results with our children: