My nine-year-old daughter curled up beside me as we watched the latest presidential debate together. I watched in silence so I could observe her response. I wanted to see what life lessons she was learning from thees presidential debates.
She giggled at a mud-slinging comment. I cringed a little and waited to see what her next responses were. She then made a sigh and irritablly stated that one of the candidates was being “mean.” Even a kid can tell when you’ve gone too far with mud-slinging.
Yes, my daughter and other kids are learning about the “real world” from watching the presidential debates. But I want to transform the good, bad into real life lessons for my children. Want to know what I’m teaching them as they watch the political debates? I’ll tell you exactly what we’re discussing!
Psst! If you think I’m letting my nine-year-old stay up super late at night to watch presidential debates, you don’t know this mom. I’m a stickler for bedtime, so my kids are tucked into bed at 8pm and watch the debates with me on Youtube the next day. Sure, they’re not live, but I have a well-rested kid learning life lessons when she’s fresh and ready to learn!
Life Lessons My Kids Are Learning from the Presidential Debates
- Don’t interrupt people. We teach kids to not interrupt adults — that’s a duh. But kids should learn not to interrupt their peers as well. A presidential debate is the perfect place to sit back and observed endless interruptions. It gets annoying for the listener and speaker. So, kids, if you ever run for president, let the other person finish his or her thought before butting in!
- Don’t do anything you wouldn’t want people to dig up 10 years later. I’m teaching my kids to be careful with their thoughts, words and actions. No matter how many times you apologize to people for an unkind comment, action or deed, many, many people will never let you live it down.
- People can lie and smile at the same time. Our family has learned that first hand because of the area of the world we are currently living in. At the moment, we are expats in a third world country where people look for ways to take advantage of the “rich” American. WE have been stolen from many times and have confronted people who didn’t skip a beat when they lied to us — many times with a smile. Just because someone seems cool, calm and collected does not guarantee they are not lying.
- Kind and decent people are voting for both candidates. I am surprised when I find out an individual I respect is backing a candidate I deplore. However, there is something in that candidate that resonates with a friend, family member or co-worker that causes them to vote for him or her. I can’t being to question the character of my friend or family member just because she’s voting for the opposing candidate. We’re all free to choose who we think will do the best job, and not all of us come to the same conclusions.
- Don’t verbally attack people’s family members. It’s sad that even adults will dig for something to make their point — even if it hurts an innocent party. If you have an issue with a friend or co-worked, don’t bring their family into the situation and call them nasty names or even bring up things they’ve done in the past. That’s out of line and only causes unnecessary pain.
- When you have an important job to do, dress for it. People notice your clothing when you’re making a speech or directing a group of followers. If you’re in the position of leadership, you are an example others are following. Keep yourself neat, tidy and up-to-date in your clothing choices.
- Don’t put your trust in human beings. This is the most important lesson of all. Human beings will always fail you. Human beings will be power hungry and desire attention, fame and riches. God is the only one you can truly trust. And He can turn any election or country around if He chooses to. No matter what the outcome of presidential debates, elections or political unrest, God is able to keep His people safe, loved and provided for. He’s also able to move a country’s leader’s heart in any direction He chooses. If my kids learn anything, I want them to remember that God and God alone can create a more peaceful, kind and healthy America.
- The world is a big place. Many Americans get so caught up in the presidential debates that they forget to care about the millions of people suffering in other countries. Don’t let American politics create an American bubble in your life. Yes, have pride and respect for your country, but don’t forget to look overseas. Don’t forget to care, pray and reach out to others who live in countries ruled by true dictators. When you pray for America, don’t forget to pray for other countries. Countries all over the world have moms, dads, brothers, sisters and friends just like we do who are scared and frightened that the next political leader could cause major damage to their country. When you pray for America’s next leader, pray for other lands’ leaders as well.
What the life lessons can we teach our kids during the presidential elections? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic! Join me on Facebook to chat about it!