Talking to children about the aftermath of a contentious election

In the wake of the elections, children are asking questions: Why are some people celebrating in the streets after the election while others are disappointed? 

"It certainly can be confusing. We're seeing part of the nation celebrating and some other parts not," Dr. Janine Domingues, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute, told FOX 5 NY.  

So, how should parents answer that question?

"This is always a wonderful opportunity to talk about the things that are important to us as a family," she said. "What we value as a community."

"You can say people have different priorities in what's important to them in life and what's important to their individual families and their communities," Dr. Nava Silton, a child psychologist, said. "And so some people are going to want change and some people are going to want to keep things just the way it was."

To help children understand, parents can also compare the outcome of the election to a child's favorite sports team winning or losing a big game.

"Making the analogy to sports, to even winning and losing at games as a family, is kind of a way of approaching it so that way they understand where the emotion is coming from," Domingues said.


Both experts also encourage parents not to demonize either candidate.

"I think you always want to answer in a respectful way," Silton said. "I don't think you want to talk about bad or evil or good versus bad."

"There are going to be differences and opinions around what's important, what issues are important, what candidates stand for," Domingues said. "And it's OK to have those differences."

Silton said parents can tell their children that we live in a democracy where everyone has an opportunity to share their opinions.

"One day you'll have the opportunity to vote and share your own opinions about what candidate you would like to lead the country," she said.