There is no doubt this crazy political environment is impacting our children’s perceptions on what makes a person a leader. Time Magazine looks at how the 2016 election cycle is impacting kids’ expectations on leadership and how parents can counter what Time calls the “Three Terrible Things the Election Is Teaching Your Child.”
Among the top three “terrible things” is lesson number 1) “I can say whatever I think without regard for anyone else.” Sadly, it seems that every time we turn on the news we see a candidate in midst of a tirade of personal attacks against their opponent. Weekly, at times daily, we are exposed to discussions on what many consider racist, bigoted, vulgar and sexist language, and left to explain what it means to our children.
The Time piece, authored by Michelle Kinder, executive director of Momentous Institute in Dallas, a program dedicated to developing social emotional health in children, provides parents with insight on how to teach good behavior:
“When children see adults out of control, they learn that self-control doesn’t matter. To counter this kind of modeling, social emotional health experts teach kids that there’s a difference between reacting and responding, and that they have the power to choose. Teaching kids the basic biology of their emotions gives them a greater sense of control over powerful feelings. Even very young children can understand that when they are overly emotional, their amygdala has taken charge and that they need to breathe and focus attention before responding. If only our presidential candidates would do the same.”
I asked friends for their thoughts on what good and bad lessons the current election cycle is teaching our children. Their resonsponses were not positive.