Caring for Children Post Election


It’s awful when the bullies win, but sometimes they do. A child I love dearly has been dealing with this: the bullies get to do what they do, and it’s up to her to figure out how to take care of herself in spite of it, because there really are no repercussions to their actions, despite the concern and apologetic handwringing of school administrators. (See: When “Victim” Looks Like “Crazy” ).The bullies haven’t done enough to get expelled or suspended. And they laugh at being verbally chastised.

Laws are laws, after all.

It’s awful when the bullies win on a larger  stage, too. Because despite how you feel about the US election, if you are a thinking adult who cares for children, you must recognize in your heart that the language he used was the language of bullies. Calling people “loser” and “pig”, denigrating their differences, interrupting with “Wrong!”, physically menacing, verbally threatening, and a myriad of his other tactics are the tactics of bullies, and we do right to teach our children to avoid behaving that way, because of course we don’t want our children to behave like that, do we?

Or do we?

My children are understandably upset. They’ve only known the Obamas, who, whatever you may say about their policies, have been a scandal-free, positively classy example of good behavior. Also, my son has been taunted at school that he is going to get deported. I have reassured him that his citizenship is full and final and irrevocable.

But  is it? Look what happened to the Jews in WWII, or the Japanese on our own soil.

This is all I want to say about this.

What I really want to do, post election, is take care. Of myself, my children, my clients, my mother, and my community.

Self care so far means sleep, healthy food, a media blackout, classical music in lieu of NPR, and reaching out to friends and family. Stepping up the yoga, meditation, and prayer. Shutting down conversations that make me feel violated. Donating money to causes I care about.

Care for my children looks much the same. I advise them to focus on what they can do to make their lives and futures better. I advise my son, a news junkie, to take a break from it.

I welcome anyone’s thoughts about positive self care after this wounding, ugly election. As a nurse and mom, I want to focus on healing–not finger-pointing, blame, or handwringing angst.

How do you take care of yourself and your own?



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