Donald Trump’s comments about grabbing women by the pussy are hard enough for us to stomach, but what about our kids? The online uproar and widespread media coverage make it difficult to protect our children from the misogynistic monster. They have eyes, they have ears and they’re not stupid.
Maybe we should take a page out of actor Colin Farrell’s book. The dad of two appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show last week and explained that his 7-year-old son Henry had been following the presidential campaigns.
When Trump’s latest vile comments were made public, Farrell said he had to come up with an appropriate way of explaining them to Henry.
“I’ve had to explain to him why Trump keeps on being mean to kittens,” Farrell told DeGeneres. “He just keeps grabbing those kittens. He wasn’t a huge fan of Trump initially — a little bit because of his hair… and now he can’t stand Trump because I had to explain to him why Trump keeps being mean to kittens.”
The longer we can keep our kids’ lives Trump-free, the better. They’ll have enough nastiness and bigotry to cope with when they’re grown-ups without infecting their childhoods with it. But we live in a world where news is instant, the internet is an integral part of family life and kids are on screens a hell of a lot of the time. When our sons and daughters reach an age when they’re interested in what’s going on in the world and start to become familiar with the most prominent figures of our time — the good and the bad — they have a whole lot of questions that they expect their parents to provide answers to. It’s our duty, whether we like it or not.
When it comes to explaining Trump to our kids — kitten analogies aside — we just have to keep it simple. With a guy like this threatening to ruin their future, there’s no avoiding the truth. He’s a bad guy. He’s racist and sexist and thinks it’s OK to hurt women. He lies and tells people to shoot his opponent, Hillary Clinton. There is, of course, plenty more we can tell our kids about Trump, but they don’t need to know about him talking about his penis during a Republican debate or bragging about sexually abusing women or saying that if his daughter weren’t his daughter, he would date her.
Our children need positive role models in their lives, but they also need to see the other side. They need to see real-life examples of bad people so they can learn what not to be. And Trump is the best example of that, hands down.