Election Reflections - Kimberly Thompson


     I have spent the last few days just listening and watching … not saying a whole lot. And I wanted to give it some time before giving some Mommy Mentor observations. However, the time has come and here they are:

1. You are your child’s filter when it comes to her understanding of the political situation. If you panic, count on her to panic. This is a classic example of taking care of your own stuff, in the interest of taking care of your child. Consider carefully before allowing her to be exposed to others (in the media or otherwise) who are panicking.

2. You are also your child’s example when it comes to how she should treat others. What is happening in the larger culture is not nearly as important as what she sees you and other members of her family doing. If you say ugly things about people that disagree with you, expect her to absorb your attitudes. She is likely to say in public what you thought was a private matter. Remember the old adage, ”Little pitchers have big ears.”

3. An important part of resilience is the ability to ignore people who try to bait you. Some children have a hard time with this. Actually, some adults have a hard time with it too. Have that important talk with your child that reminds her, “Just because someone says it, doesn’t make it true. It’s important that you hold on to what you know is true, and to not allow someone’s teasing or taunting to change who you think you are.” Your child has much more control over what she believes about herself than she does about what other people say about her.  My dad used to say, “Let it roll off of you like water off a duck’s back,” and “learn to roll with the punches.” In school we used to say, “I’m rubber and you’re glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you.”

     Is this to say that teasing, taunting, and baiting is OK in this high-heat political season? No, but it’s just not possible to shut it all down. It’s important for children to learn to overcome adversity, to always be growing in their ability to shield their own minds, and to recover. It’s also important that they learn empathy with those with whom they disagree, and that they learn to treat others with consideration and kindness.


     I am Dr. Kimberly Thompson, a clinical psychologist in private practice in Lubbock, Texas. I work with mothers and their children to help them heal, grow, and live their most vibrant lives. My particular expertise is pregnant and postpartum women, and moms of “littles.” My book, Perfect Mothers Get Depressed, is available on Amazon and from Praeclarus Press. If you live within driving distance of Lubbock, you can work with me face-to-face; if you live anywhere else in the state of Texas, you can work with me via online therapy. Send me a message if you need more information, or call my office at (806) 224-0200 if you’re ready to book an appointment.