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Tips for talking with kids about election results

On Election Day, many schools held their own vote. It was an opportunity for lessons about how elections work. It was an opportunity to let kids know whether they voted for the person who won or not, we honor the outcomes of elections—and, we are lucky to live in a country where people can vote to choose their leaders.   

Now that the results are in, kids may have questions about the voting process or they may express grief or anxiety if the person they voted for didn't win. Here are a few ways to talk with them about the election results:  

  1. Teach them about how government works. Now is a great time to talk about our system of checks and balances. Let them know that broad decisions or changes are made by a team of people, not just the president.

  2. Calm fears. Maturity levels vary. But generally, for young children under 10 focus on maintaining their sense of security. If your child is concerned or anxious about the election results, reassure them that regardless of the results they are safe at home. And they should come to you if they feel bullied.

  3. Be honest. Let them know Donald Trump will be the next president. Beyond that, we don't know what he'll do as president. It's okay to say you don't have all the answers right now. But let your child know you can work together to find them later. 

  4. Reiterate your values.  Whether your candidate won or lost, parents should reinforce the values you want your children to have, such as unity or respect for people's differences and opinions. Kids often share the values their parents express.

  5. Be kind. Let them know there are wins and losses in life. Don't make fun of those who supported the losing candidate and don't be unkind to those who won. We all have things to learn from one another.

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