After the 2016 election, some parents I spoke with were so hysterically wrapped up in it all, they actually seemed to delight in telling everyone how devastated their offspring were when they found out Trump had won.
A couple of moms whose kids were taking the same class as my then nearly 4-year-old asked me how she was dealing with the result. At first I thought they were joking. When I realized they weren’t, I told them I actually hadn’t mentioned the election to my daughter. They looked at me like I was an alien. These folks, it seemed, had been sitting their kids in front of Rachel Maddow every night for the duration of the campaign. One woman’s child, who was in pre-K, apparently cried when she found out Trump had won. So, I imagined, off this kid went to school the morning of Nov. 9, 2016, woke but living in a nightmare where the big orange wolf ate up sweet Grandma Hillary and stole her nice white house.
Why do parents feel the need to burden their kids with this kind of bleakness?
For some, it’s about bragging rights. These days it’s not enough to boast about your children learning to read and write early; you also need to talk up their emotional IQ and how able they are as social scientists.