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On the Playground After the Election

My daughter is nine. When she woke up, I told her that Trump had won the U.S. presidential election. Her first question was, “Can we move?”

Throughout the day I heard many young people her age voice the same question. Every parent’s face was filled with fear and grief, and the children had had to wake up to that. The game on the playground after school was “thinking of places to move to, to get away from Trump.” I listened to parents collude, joke, lecture, not know what to say, and so on. It was a challenge and an opportunity.

Of course there is no place we can move to, to get away from oppression. So I said in as kind and confident a tone as I could, “We can’t get away, and we don’t want to. We get to stand and fight together.” I didn’t want to downplay or make light of it. Children know it’s a big deal. I also didn’t want to try to make it “go away,” or dramatize my fears, or give a big lecture. I wanted them to know that the struggles are real, that we are facing them together, and that I think we can win. I think it made a difference.

Tamara Damon

Brooklyn, New York, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail
discussion list for leaders of parents


Last modified: 2019-05-02 14:41:35+00