What Did I Tell My Kids?

I debated about whether or not I would write a post about this topic. We’re definitely on overload. And while conversations from adults are what they are, it the kids that I want to talk about. I’ve recently been asked by several people what I’m telling my children. My answer is, “We have a new president-elect, who will take office in January.” No more, no less. Every election it seems like our children are becoming involved more and more. And not just involved by knowing what is going on and having fun learning about things; but actively involved in the disgusting underbelly of the election. Kids coming home telling their parents that their friends will be deported in Trump wins, others talking about how Hilary should be in jail. Both sides feel justified in their anger; and both sides have justified the actions of the other. Her emails weren’t really that bad, he said those things as a celebrity, what he said was worse than anything she may have done.

No matter what I firmly, and without questions, believe that our children should not bear the weight of what is going on right now. They are going to schools and talking to friends, parroting things they are hearing – spreading the fear, anger, judgement and whatever else to small children who are entirely too young to be worrying about this. My five, eight and possibly my ten year old don’t need to be scared or feel like their world could implode at any moment. That the election of one man will suddenly cause a tidal wave of destruction that will deport their friends, imprison people, take away rights and destroy our country. And if the election had turned gone another way I would say the same thing.

So what DO I say to my kids? I tell them, “we have a new President, there are many people upset, and many happy. Someone was going to be angry and someone was going to be happy. No matter what you hear on tv or from your friends at school, Mommy and Daddy have it under control. You don’t need to be worried about anything. Just be excited there is a new President, and its okay to be sad that President Obama isn’t going to be anymore.” President Obama is the only President they have really known. They know about him, watch him on TV and look up to him in the way any child should someone like our Country’s President. As military kids they are keenly aware that he is their daddy’s boss and is making decisions about their daddy. There is so much they do worry about in their life, and adding more to that isn’t what we are about.

How do I ACT? All I can do is set an example for them. An example of love and kindness. As Christians, as a Jesus loving, faith-based household that is my belief and my duty as a parent. And that’s it. There is plenty of time for all the other things in life. Plenty of time.

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A Visit with the Canadian Prime Minister #WHSocial

 It was an absolutely beautiful day at The White House, and no matter how many times I get the opportunity to walk on these hallowed grounds I will never stop being an awe. My heart will always flutter and my eyes will always tear. I’m sure it sounds lame to others, but I will always have a deep reverence for the place, the people in it, and what it represents. I found myself lucky enough, on that beautiful day, to be at the official welcoming of Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. As part of a special group of influencers, those in my group were invited to attend the event, talk about what we saw and learn more about how social media is becoming more and more important in the way we communicate and interact with those in government positions.

After the event we sat down and spoke with some of the comms team for both the President and the Prime Minister. While social media interaction with The White House seems like its been around for forever, it really has only been to the level it has for less than eight years. In Canada it has been even shorter. As a military spouse, who utilizes social media for so much I have seen the power. Social media is a huge part of how we communicate and advocate. Our government leaders hold twitter chats and live Facebook town halls. Our current President, and leaders, are on the cusp of this technology and have leveraged it in their favor….but it has also been a huge success for those of us that feel the need to make a change. We feel as if we have a voice and that we are being listened to. No longer do we have the days where word can not be spread easily, leaders can be protected because the only way you can reach them is letters. Your average citizen has the power to use social media in a way they never have before. It’s crazy! And to imagine, someone like myself, who doesn’t work for a major news organization, now gets the opportunity to attend media events, listen to press briefings in person, and cover stories from The White House…well, it’s astounding.

Canada hasn’t quite hit this same level, and they don’t use social media in the same way that we do. But it’s growing in leaps and bounds….growing followers for the Prime Minister from hundreds to millions in a single day. It’s evolving there, as it has here. But listening to them speak, almost boggled my mind. How quickly we forget though that that was us not too long ago. It will be exciting to watch how social media changes for us, for them, and how it continues to grow.

Do you use social media to advocate or communicate
with government officials?

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