In a time when politics are extremely contentious, your girl might be anxious, scared, or just have questions about what she’s seeing and hearing, and as a parent, you want to help. So where do you start?
“Now more than ever, we have to stand together as one people, one nation—regardless of our opinions, race, religion or beliefs, gender, who we love, what language we speak, or where we come from,” says Girl Scouts’ developmental psychologist, Dr. Andrea Bastiani Archibald. “But unity doesn’t mean abandoning the things that make us different from one another, and it doesn’t mean standing by or looking the other way in the face of bigotry and hatred. Real unity is what you get when a lot of very diverse people come together to form one complex yet seamless whole. It’s about equality, inclusiveness, and dignity—values I think we as parents all hope to instill in our children.”
Your inclination might be to avoid the topic, but it’s incredibly important to take her concerns seriously. Address them in an age-appropriate way. It’s even okay to share that you’re feeling uncertain as well—both adults and kids often do during times of transition and change.
Moving forward together takes leadership, and not just from one person. We all have a role to play. Here are a few ways you and your girl can lead:
Encourage your girl to own her feelings and channel them into courageous and compassionate action—for action, both small and large, brings real change. Remind her how much courage her favorite heroines from books and movies had to have in order to create a better world. For example, in Harry Potter Hermione was afraid—the Death Eaters specifically hated people like her—but even in the darkest of times, she never stopped fighting for others who were also being treated badly. If your girl needs a little motivational boost, pick a book or movie to share with her that demonstrates every day or historic courage and heroism of its characters. Seeing how others have overcome challenges will help your daughter see that she can do the same.
While none of us can snap our fingers to create instant unity, we can—we must—take action and stand together for what’s right. It will take time and a lot of work to bring people together, but we can and must start today. Small changes and gestures add up, bridging divides and strengthening communities.
We all have voices, and now is the time for us to raise them—together.
Learn how Girl Scouts can benefit your girl.