“Donald Trump is a F@$%!”
The words struck me speechless.
My elementary-age child dropping the F-bomb about Donald Trump, the President of The United States.
If you follow me, you know I rarely, if I ever speak about Trump.
Sure I will comment on mistreatment of asylum seekers, racial injustice and more that happens to be occurring under this administration, and I will continue to comment on those things regardless of who is President after the election.
No, this post is not about Trump.
It is about how I and other adults talk about him or other politicians in front of our children.
Maybe you called Trump an asshole or Joe Biden a moron. Maybe you lobbed insults at those who support either one of them.
Maybe you were just joking around with your spouse, laughing at some meme, not realizing your kids were listening.
I know I have.
To be clear, I do not support Donald Trump as President of the United States, and have no problem expressing my views and debating those who disagree. I am also disgusted by his language and mannerism that frequently mocks and insults others. I would like to think most adults, including myself, are above this behavior.
So when my child called him a “F-U-You Know The Rest,” yes I was upset about the language, but I was even more upset that he felt that it was the best way to speak about him.
Although, I can’t recall an incident where I used the word fuck and Donald Trump in the same sentence, I am a person who curses often, and I speak with unfiltered passion about things I care about, often not realizing who’s listening.
I apologized to my son, and said we adults needed to do better.
I said we can discuss Trump and other issues civilly and factually without resorting to name calling. We can be resolute in our stance for wanting leadership we can be proud of.
To be clear, I am not saying adults should be dishonest with their children about their political feelings. Nor is this a request for anyone to censor the truth for our kids benefits. By all means talk to them about the environment, poverty, racism and everything else you are passionate about. Our children are as impacted by this election as much as if not more than we are. They deserve to hear us speak about what matters to us. They deserve to understand why we are voting the way we are and to be included in the process. What they don’t deserve is to be subjected to hateful language and child-like name-calling of others.
We can do better.
As we head into the Presidential debates, I remain hopeful both candidates will rise above petty insults and low-blow jabs, and stick with discussing the issues. Hopeful, but realistic.
In the mean time, even if our leaders can’t behave decently. I know I can. And I pledge to do better.