Listen To The Kids

hands-220163_640My seven-year-old is terrified of Donald Trump. It all started with Trump’s declaration to build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. He is terrified Trump will win, build a wall, and it will be Berlin all over again. Yes, my seven-year-old knows about the Berlin wall and he made this connection on his own without any prompting from adults. He’s a smart kid and will tell you without hesitation voting for Donald Trump, “…is really stupid.”

The first time he went with me to vote he wanted to make sure two people who loved each other could be married. He was confused why two boys or two girls could not get married. He was confused why someone’s god would not want them to be a family. He was confused about why no one else wanted them to be happy. He enjoyed voting so much he went again with his dad. Being able to vote is important to him, even if he isn’t doing the actual voting. There is no way this kid would let us get away with skipping an opportunity to vote.

The second time I took him to vote was for the Presidential Primary. He was not happy with my choice to support Bernie Sanders. We had a lengthy discussion about all the reasons I was voting for Bernie and not Hilliary. He has been with Hilliary since the beginning. I promised to vote for Hilliary if Bernie didn’t win the nomination, but he had to tell me why he thought she was a better candidate. And he did. This spunky little boy explained to me she was smart, had a nice smile, helped kids, and “has had a lot of jobs.” He can’t wait to go and see a vote cast for her. He talks about wanting to meet her and how she is going to be a great president. This conversation usually ends with another one of his Donald Trump sucks rants.

What does a seven-year-old know about who is qualified to be the next President? A lot. My vote directly impacts his future. My vote is a reflection of whether I believe in the morals I am instilling in him. He is watching, he is listening, and he is taking advantage of any opportunity presented to make his voice heard. He is the future. He is one of the kids who cried when they found out Obama couldn’t be President anymore. I love that his only image of an American President is an intelligent African American man. I love he thinks Michelle Obama is a wonderful, intelligent First Lady. I love that he sees no problem with a woman being the next President. More than all of these things, I love that he knows he has a voice and uses it to denounce hate.

And if he told me Trump would be a good choice, I would listen, openly and discuss why he should have my vote. This is not the discussion he wants to have about Trump, though. He wants to know why he has to leave the room sometimes when Donald Trump is talking, why is he so angry all the time, why does he tell lies, how is going to make things great? No matter how much effort I’ve put into shielding him from the hateful rhetoric, violence, and bullying, he finds out. My seven-year-old is dumbfounded anyone with any intelligence or human decency would consider voting for this candidate.

He sees the negative ads and articles about Hilliary and he asks questions. Emails, Benghazi, defending a rapist, who is Bill…I answer honestly, objectively and give him the opportunity to decide what he thinks. He is still with her. He may one of her biggest fans. As adults, we tend to think we know best. We have better judgement, more experience, more education. We are also more cynical, jaded, and often caught up in the latest news cycle.

As adults, we tend to think we know best. We have better judgement, more experience, more education. We are also more cynical, jaded, and often caught up in the latest news cycle. Kids don’t know everything. When I was a seven-year-old kid, I thought Reagan was amazing. He was handsome, kind, and seemed smart. I got older and learned a lot about the Reagan Administration I didn’t like. We didn’t have 24-hour news channels, the internet, or conversations about politics; politics were for grown-ups to discuss, not kids. Is it possible my son will grow up and change his mind about how much he loves Hilliary? Absolutely. Does that make his opinion right now any less valid? Absolutely not. Listen to the kids. They see and listen from a different perspective we as adults can sometimes miss. This is their future we are deciding, they should have a voice too.