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Shirlee Smith | Parents Need Advice?

Published on Monday, November 14, 2016 | 6:07 am

Subject line on the first email said: “What to tell the kids”. I have a good habit of not opening a lot of email that comes my way – there’s just too much.

But “what to tell the kids” isn’t something I’d click the trash icon for since children, parents and family are the essence of my business.

Before Wednesday, November 10th, 2016 was over, I’d had close to a hundred such eye-catching subject lines sent my way.

Having opened the initial eye-catcher I wasn’t about to be snagged by so many other ones offering advise on explaining to children how and why Donald Trump and his family will be the new occupants of the Pennsylvania Ave., Washington D.C., White House, when the current tenants; Barack, Michelle, Malia and Natasha are ousted.

True, the country has been through an ugly election with behavior, mudslinging, name calling and threats unheard of in political campaigns.

But needing advise as to what we should tell our children is pure nonsense. How come parents can’t operate on the strength of their own convictions and value systems.

During World War II, when America moved my Japanese friends along with thousands of other Japanese citizens off to relocation camps, my mother didn’t rely on what the experts told her to tell her children.

Somehow, ( mother-wit?) she knew to simply tell us it was wrong and that the families in our neighborhood were to be respected, welcomed back when they returned and that they were Japanese and not “Japs” as Americans took to calling them.

But now, this so-called dilemma surrounding Trump becoming President is taking us on the same stupid route of how to tell children where babies come from.

A bit of age appropriate truth goes a very long way when it comes to babies, elections and relocation camps.

Telling kids that storks bring babies was as off track as now trying to make life easier for adults by allowing them to dodge the simple reality of Trump winning the election.

What if everybody in the household, 5 kids and 2 parents, got to vote on what movie to see. The vote was 4 to 3 in favor of the latest Disney screen attraction.

The Disney movie wins! Oh, it was the four kids who always cause trouble in the family who voted this way and the goodie-two-shoes kid voted with the parents.

Is the family election now troublesome?

What to tell the kids? Tell them Republican Donald Trump ran against Democrat Hillary Clinton for the highest office in the land and he won.

What to tell the kids?

They need to hear that things don’t always go like they want but for others, the Trump voters, things are going just fine.

Is there any respect for diverse opinions and opposing winning votes?


Shirlee Smith is a former Pasadena Star-News Opinion Columnist. She is a Los Angeles Press Club first place awardee and author of They’re Your Kids, Not Your Friends and the Spanish edition, “Son Tus Hijos, No Tus Amigos.” Smith can be reached by email at




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