Experts explain how parents can talk to kids about election results

Denise Dador Image
Thursday, November 10, 2016
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Following a harsh election cycle, health experts have recommended the best ways for parents to talk to their children about the results.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- For many in California, the election results were unexpected. Now, many parents have asked how to best discuss the outcome with their children.

Post-election anxiety was on the minds of Los Angeles Unified School District officials as they issued a statement and counseling information to help ease the fears of their most vulnerable communities.

"They were all upset and they didn't want to talk about it," third grader Olivia Goodman said.

Olivia's mother, Jennifer Goodman, said she was, "Trying to reassure her that you know she's safe here."

There were some heavy hearts at Franklin Avenue Elementary School as students and parents tried to sort out a divisive election filled with harsh words.

"Families should focus on the future. They should talk about the process and how things like that happen," developmental psychologist Stephanie Marcy with the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles advised.

Marcy said the first step was to offer children reassurance.

"It's up to the parents to try to educate their children on what it really means and how there will be decisions made," Marcy said. "And again, not spreading that hate talk so that your kids are hearing it."

Young girls hoping to witness the first woman elected as president of the U.S. may be feeling especially vulnerable.

Jennifer Davidson said she spent much of election night consoling her young daughters.

"I've always been somebody who wants to teach them you can't put all your eggs in the basket of one," Davidson said. "You've got to be power. Know your power. Know your strength. And know that regardless of outcome, that doesn't change how we are."

In a statement, school board president Steve Zimmer said the school district will continue to provide additional support to those who need it.

He also urged all school leaders and teachers to listen to their students.