Talking to kids about presidential election outcome

(AP photo)

HAMDEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Not an easy day for supporters of Hillary Clinton.

And school-aged children immersed into the process, a concern among parents.

Emotions, tough to hide, for engaged supporters this presidential campaign.

Especially for people like Cynthia That-Cacopardo who brought her three children to the polls.

She explains, “I was really excited and I wanted them to know the process.”

Stars and stickers — for the candidate of their choice – mired in a close presidential election.

“I was really upset and thinking of how I was going to talk to him about it,” says Cynthia.

Her concern — mostly for 6 year old son Jonah.

“Without getting too emotional about it,” says Cynthia, “I just want to stress that, so it didn’t go in our favor but that we are still a part of this country. We’re not leaving and so since we’re still a part of this country, we need to stand together.”

That positive approach is exactly what Dr. Allan Jacobs – who specializes in Child/Adolescent psychiatry in West Hartford, prescribes.

He says, “Maybe as a parent, it you’re extremely distressed by it, your kids are obviously going to pick up the way you’re being, and they are going to be distressed by it.”

Keep the message simple and lead by example.

For instance, “I didn’t like the result but I’m accepting it,” says Dr. Jacobs, “And that person who was elected for president will represent us all and do the best for the country.”

Something else to consider.

“I would wait for the children to ask questions and then respond to their questions,” says Dr. Jacobs, and answer their questions in a reassuring way.

Such as, “Well it’s not the person you wanted to win Mom or Dad. And you could explain,” says Dr. Jacobs, “no this isn’t but this is America and basically we support the President who ever becomes the president.”

Parents like Cynthia, see it as a life lesson.

Staying encouraged — despite the outcome.

“I just want him to know.” she says, “that we as a family should take action and do what we can for what care about.”

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