When I woke up Wednesday November 9 I had an eerie feeling in the pit of my stomach. When my wife turned on the news we both learned in horror that Trump was president elect. Truth be told I had not thought about how I would address a Trump win with my daughters because I did not believe it would happen at all. We were both looking forward to explaining to our daughters all the symbolism and possibilities life would offer them now that a woman had finally become president. Now I struggle to navigate having a healthy conversation in order to not confuse them or scare them further and balance that with not dismissing my own visceral reactions to what he has stood for during his election campaign.
- First it is important to know what your own moral compass and foundation is and convey this to your children so they understand that politicians, athletes, celebrities, and other famous individuals do not have the power to change the direction of our moral compass without our permission.
- Deplugging from CNN, MSNBC, Fox News and local news broadcasts for at least a month will probably help in reducing the anxieties, fears, and worries that many fathers and mothers are feeling in this moment (this includes news apps on your phones-you thought I forgot).
- My Pastor advised us in church this week to formulate a prayer for both the Obama family as he finishes out his term as well as a prayer for the Trump family as he takes the reins in January. This might be a helpful exercise from a spiritual sense to bring our divided country together.
- Spend some extra one on one time with your child(ren) this week and for the next month to make sure they feel they have a safe space to divulge their feelings, thoughts, and experiences with you.
- Talk to your child’s teacher, guidance counselor, school administration about how they will address any bullying aftershocks and residue from the election.
- Cultivate me time in your daily schedule because the political waves of our time have taken a toll on us emotionally, psychologically, culturally, spiritually, and physically. This time should be devoted to just you to do what you want to do for 20-60 minutes each day.
- It is okay to tell your child that you don’t have all the answers and or that you will get back with them if they ask you a question that truly throws you off (my 5 year old asked me why did so many people vote for Trump?)
If you would like to learn more about me or my practice Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, PLLC and have questions feel free to visit my website www.iccounseling.net
Dr. Gerald Brown (Doc Brown) is owner of Inner Compass Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting PLLC in Cornelius, NC and Harrisburg, NC. He is passionate about fatherhood issues, immigrant concerns, and specializes in trauma work. Doc Brown has presented at various conferences and has a multitude of experience training organizations and corporations in diversity and multicultural resilience. He believes in helping individuals, couples, and families find meaning and integrate that meaning with various resiliencies in order to live purposefully and vibrantly. He is married with two daughters ages 13 and 5.