At first I was like, "you said it, sistah!"
And then I said, "where'd you hear that?"
And she said "I made it up. Everyone is good except for Donald Trump, right?"
I wasn't sure how to respond. She was proud to have these opinions, but when I hear it I know it needs tweaking. It's so crazy that even preschoolers are talking about Trump, and I'm glad the general consensus (in my neck of the urban sprawl) is that he's a bad guy. I mean, it could be the opposite. But even if we're talking about someone hate-worthy, I'm trying to move away from the good/bad categories for people around my kids.
I've read that Donald Trump's father was extremely hard on him, and never gave him enough approval (surprise, surprise). When I think of him in that light, I honestly do feel sorry for him. I can't believe I feel sorry for Donald Trump! I'm not that saintly. I'm really quite cynical. I grew up in New York, where people are snarky and Trump tore down half the city to build his phallic douche-dwellings. Maybe my daughter brings out the wanna-be-saintly side of me.
So I said, "I know this is weird, but EVEN Donald Trump has a heart."
(If Trump saw this he'd Tweet "An article said I had a heart. It's true. And it's a big, beautiful heart, believe me.")
She was confused. Kids like clear categories of right and wrong. (That's why people enroll them in Catholic school.)
Similarly, my son made this drawing a few months ago, on his own:
But it does upset me for a couple reasons...
A) I hate guns. My son begs me constantly for a water gun and I refuse to get him one. There are debates about whether that will just make him want one more, and I don't know the answer, but I refuse to support any part of the gun industry, even if they're just shooting water. *Now I'm updating this post since Orlando and it seems even more poignant. Why have we decided it's ok to give kids weapons as toys?
I know, I'm officially a Mom. As if phone-banking for Hillary and having a blog weren't enough.
But it really does make me crazy that we have a national tragedy -- the worst gun massacre in US history -- and kids are still running around simulating a gun fights.
*And now I'm updating it again (oh, Marian, just post it already!) after the incidents in Baton Rouge, St. Paul, and last night in Dallas. This is unbelievable. At this point, I don't think you have to be a mom to think "what is this world coming to?"
B) My kids are seeking approval and validation through hate.
Kids like a bad guy. Everybody likes a bad guy. It makes us feel loved to rally against the bad guy. Who doesn't cheer when Darth Vader or Ramsay gets taken down?
BUT can we teach them love and togetherness without teaching them hate for the "bad guy"? In this case, the bad guy is a person who's stirring up hate. So while I believe it can be useful to use anger to fuel grown-ups to take action (and vote for Hillary), I hope there are better ways to teach kids what's up with bad guys. Or are they too young to understand?
Ok, I'm posting this now, but there's so much more to say.
Tell me how you deal with hate for bad guys. And while you're at it, please share any tips or thoughts on kids and water guns.