So, it’s election year and the proverbial gloves have come off on both sides of the arena filling our airwaves, media and internet with “he said-she said” or “he did-she did” accusations and insults. While this can be extremely informative, frustrating, angering and sometimes comical to people who claim to be supposed adults, it can be very confusing, frightening and misinterpreted by little children.
Firstly, if you’re going to pitch your reasons why or why not you or someone else is voting for a certain character, I mean candidate, make sure there aren’t any little kids (school age like K-5) around to hear you. Admit it . . . sometimes these political debates at home, in a car, at a restaurant, or anywhere else can get pretty heated and the next thing you know it’s an all out war with vulgar, despicable, hateful and crude statements erupting from the mouths of the “mature” (and I use that term very loosely) adults.
Step back for a minute and put yourselves in the child’s place and think about what you’ve said and how that child may translate, understand and repeat what you’ve said. It can be a very humbling experience. For example;
Yesterday my five year old granddaughter came home from school and when I asked her how her day was, this is the conversation that took place; “My day was good Papa, but did you know there are animals working for the gubment?” Having absolutely no idea what she was talking about, I gently pressed her for more information about these so called animals that work for our “Gubment.”
“Well,” she said; “When I grow up I am definitely not going to work for the FBBI. (which she pronounced phonetically as fibbi, no joke!) Papa, what’s the FBBI?” Without going into great detail, I told her that I believe she was referring to the F.B.I. and it stood for the “Federal Bureau of Investigation.” “Why don’t you want to work for the F.B.I. I asked, struggling not to burst out laughing.”
“So,” she says;“I heard these first-grade boys (she’s in kindergarten) talking and one of them told the other one that his father said that the people who work for the F.B.I. worked with with weasels.Then the other boy asked him what a “weasel” is and the other boy, the first-grade one, said he thought it was a kind of big, giant, rat. Papa, what do the weasels do, they don’t know how to talk or drive a car, or cook?” By now, my stomach muscles are aching because I am trying everything humanly possible not to burst out laughing.
After taking a few cleansing, deep, breaths, to control the hysterical laughter that I didn’t want to happen, I was finally able to speak to her in a rational, calm, voice. Instantly, I knew what the first-grade boy and now my granddaughter were talking about so I had to choose my words wisely.
I explained to my granddaughter that “weasels” do not work for the F.B.I. and then explained to her who and what the F.B.I. was. Then I told her that many people are very angry at the boss of the F.B.I. for something he did wrong and that an extremely angry person said that they were all weasels to insult him. That’s what the first-grade boy must have heard his father saying and misunderstood him.
“Oh!” she says, are you angry with him too?” “Yes I am honey, I am super angry at him, but you wouldn’t understand why, so the next time you hear a kid at school say something you don’t understand or aren’t sure of, come and ask me and I’ll tell you the “truth.” With a smile and the innocence of a typical five year old, she said; “Thanks Pop’s,” and skipped away to go play in the magical world that most adults once enjoyed many, many, years ago.
Remember, if you are going to discuss politics and know the argument will become heated and hateful, look around you and make sure that there are no little children within earshot. Children interpret and repeat what they hear at school and especially at home.
Please feel free to reblog or share this post with whomever you wish or who you may feel would benefit from reading this.
I also humbly invite you to subscribe to my blog at www.jamesrsirois.com or “Blogging Around With The Original Domestic God”