Last week I got some new socks in for my boutique. As a joke, I had found items I could sell for $5, and one of those items was a pair of Donald Trump socks. The design was patriotic with a cartoon portrait of our president, Donald Trump, with the phrase, "Make Hair Great Again."
Much to my surprise my customers actually wanted to purchase the socks, and so, what I like to refer to as "the ridiculous sock order" went in. (Never in my life have I ordered so many pairs of socks: Trump, fish, bears, flying pigs, etc. — it was nuts!)
The box arrived at my house last week, and as I always do, I opened it to check for accuracy. When my kids got home from school, my 7-year-old and 5-year-old begged for a pair. I had extras and said, “Have at it.”
The next day both my boys wore the socks to school. When I picked them up I asked how their day was. My 7-year-old said, “Not everyone likes our president. There were some people that didn’t like (and made fun of) my socks.”
My son is 7. His heart is pure (maybe mixed with werewolf, but the jury is still out on that), but in all essence of the word, he is innocent. My heart hurt a little for my son, but his feelings weren’t hurt. He was bewildered. “Mom,” he said. “Trump is our president! They can’t not like him.”
While inaccurate on some levels, a truer statement could not be spoken. How can someone openly bash our president? He’s the leader of the country, who (like it or not) won the election. It’s not about who they are or the party the identify with. It’s about respect.
You see, here’s the thing; as parents it’s our job to teach our children right from wrong, good and bad, how to act in public, compassion, and kindness, etc. But more and more it’s as if think we let our own opinions of good and bad sway our teaching.
I mean, who am I to tell my son if our president is good or bad? Do I have an opinion? Sure I do, but it’s not my place to define his opinion for him. What he needs to know is that whether I like or dislike the president, I still must respect that he is our president.
Same goes for religion, race, sexual identity, etc.
Whether I believe or don’t believe in “X” religion, it’s my job to teach my son understanding. Whether I love and accept every race, it’s my job, as a parent, to teach my children acceptance. Whether I think homosexuality is right or wrong, it’s my job to teach my children to love all people.
It is not our job to teach shame, disrespect or hate.
We are failing as parents today because we are letting too many of our own beliefs shadow the way we teach our children to treat other people! So what if you don’t like the president? Does that make it OK for your child to make fun of another 9-year-old in their class for the socks he picked out?
Society today is ruining lives because there is no acceptance that people can have different opinions and beliefs.
Make a change, friends.
I challenge you: Let’s teach our kids when to be kind. Let’s teach our kids not to judge others. Let’s teach our kids to love everyone. And let’s keep our opinions out of it.
Because our kids grow up to be the movers and the shakers. They grow up to run our government. They grow up to be educators. They grow up to be mothers and fathers.
They grow up to be us.