My daughter said the unthinkable to me, and it’s opened my eyes to how impressionable young kids are.
Let me preface this by saying; this is not intended to be a political piece. I love politics but don’t want to discuss it on my blog. Plus, this article is about the struggles of parenting and unfortunately there is a political tie to this story. Now on to the story.
This week has been a whirlwind of emotions because my daughter starts Pre-Kindergarten today. It’s incredible how quickly time flies by. Last night, before she went to bed, I read her Curious George “First day of school” which I thought might help her get excited about school.
After the book, we were cuddling and talking about school. One of the kids from her preschool is also starting at her new school, and I asked if they were friends and she said Yes but she was also friends with another little girl who my daughter did not like. I wondered why she did not like the girl, and she said. “She is brown.” Immediately I had a knot in my stomach.
We are not racist, we’ve never discussed the color of skin to her, and my husband and I have never brought this up in conversation with each other. We have friends of all races so hearing her talk this way was unsettling and hurtful. I asked who she learned this from, and I kid you not she said “Donald Trump, he doesn’t like white people” she then proceeded to say like her brown dogs, so clearly there was such confusion, but she knew enough to associate Donald Trump with racism. I would have never thought this conversation would ever be something I’d have with my four-year-old daughter.
What I learned tonight was the following
- Kids hear and absorb everything. I should have learned this when she started copying one of my favorite phrases which is “Are you fucking kidding me?” But politics was never on my radar as something I thought she was listening to, specifically offensive remarks Donald Trump has made.
- Now more than ever I’m worried about our kids and their future. I think this whole election is a shit show, and this is not a post to talk about politics but as a parent I’m concerned. Our world is filled with enough hate, and we don’t need to live in a country where we are going backwards with how we treat people. We need to move forward and continue treating everyone with the same respect and dignity no matter what race or religious affiliation someone has.
- I may listen and watch the news too much. I admit, I watched ALL of the Republican and Democratic Conventions. I’m a sucker for public speaking, and while my daughter wasn’t always around for it, she picked up on enough of it to where she knows who both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton are. I thought it was cool she could identify them, but I’m now second guessing that.
- My concern is if Donald Trump becomes President how do I keep my daughter open-minded about different types of people she will encounter in life? I want her to treat everyone with the same level of respect rather it’s someone who is part of the LGBT community, is a different ethnicity than us, or has a different religious affiliation. I want her to avoid judging or making assumptions about how someone lives their life. How can I consciously do this if someone who has offended every minority group is our President?
- What if she says something at school? On Monday, my biggest concern is she would call a kid “Stupid” or “Poopy-butt”, and now she’s increased my concern by 300% over what she may say.
- Where did my sweet baby go? I’m disturbed and realize how quickly children’s innocence is taken from them.
I’m not an expert at parenting but how does one handle this? We told her to treat everyone the same and to realize some people in this world say bad things and are mean but does she understand the severity of any of this? After all, she is four. I feel like I’ve failed as a parent, and maybe I have. Is it normal to have conversations about accepting everyone at four?
This situation been a sobering experience and has opened my eyes and made me realize how others words and actions can make a lasting impression on a child.
I can’t help but wonder, what words do I want to be known for by my daughter?