5 lessons from Donald Trump that will make you a better parent

RACHEL DOHERTY

Social worker, teacher and the founder of Tweens2teen

If you want to be a better parent, there’s plenty to learn from the current custodian of the White House, President Donald Trump.

One of the best ways for kids to learn about the adult world is to watch how others navigate it. People with influence and fame give lots of teachable moments that savvy parents can unpack for their kids.

And in 2017, there’s no better person than Donald Trump.

I’ve written before about how Trump’s election win undermined some parenting principles. Since then, Trump has continued to rip open the underbelly of politics that many of us never knew existed.

“Love him or hate him, no one has been able to figure Donald Trump out.”

RONALD KESSLER

Donald Trump is fascinating. Where Presidents before him have surrounded themselves with knowing staffers, Trump hasn’t. Rather than process what he thinks and says through his media advisors, he just blurts it.

The great thing about Donald Trump is that almost every day he provides another life lesson. And that’s great news for parents.

Donald Trump’s guide to modern life

For someone in his 70’s you have to admire his grasp of social media and connecting with the greater populace. You can see his experience as an entrepreneur in how he approaches the presidency. Nimble decision-making, cutting losses, not being afraid to try new things: these are all part of what has made him successful. But Trump’s lessons don’t stop at turning the wheels of government upside down.

How he performs as a President provide plenty of teaching that parents can share with their kids. If you haven’t been paying attention, here’s five things you should have learned by now:

1. Fake news surrounds us

Most people had never heard of fake news before the US elections. But thanks to Donald Trump we now know that not all news is factual.

Trump goes a step too far though. He considers an opposing opinion or negative comment “fake news” too. That’s a defensive place that we shouldn’t encourage kids to go, but there’s some wisdom in considering information before accepting it as fact.

Teaching our kids to be discerning and look for evidence to back up claims is an important part of modern parenting.

“My father values talent… When Donald Trump is in charge all that matters is ability, excellence and effort.” – Ivanka Trump

2. If you tell secrets expect leaks

The White House has more holes than a colander these days. But it’s a good lesson that if you share a secret with someone, you lose control over what happens to that information.

Secrets rely on trust. The more people who know your secret, the more chances that trust will be broken. In this age of social media, secrets can spread quicker than they did in the past, and with more devastating consequences.

Parents need to help kids think through who is a good holder of secrets and who to avoid. If you promise something you should follow through on it Donald Trump made a lot of promises before he became President, and he’s made a lot since then too. But in

3. If you promise something you should follow through on it

Donald Trump made a lot of promises before he became President, and he’s made a lot since then too. But in practice, they’re not that easy to bring into being.

People are looking for authenticity and integrity. When people make promises they can’t keep, those around them will put their faith in others. For parents, that means in time your kids will turn to trusting people their own age, rather than you if you don’t deliver on your promises. Be that parent who always follows through or explains when you can’t meet a commitment.

4. Surround yourself with positive thoughts

Donald Trump has his staff prepare a folder of positive news stories twice a day. None of that negative press for him!

What a great tip for our homes too. Our family home should be like a safe harbour for kids. A place of encouragement and no put downs. There’s plenty of other people in the world who will tell them what they’re not good at, or what’s wrong with them. But we can be the captain of their cheer squad. The people who always encourage them to think big and chase their dreams.

5. Family always comes first

No one will have your back like the people you live with. Donald Trump’s kids are incredibly loyal, but then he’s also been very generous towards them.

In the modern world, parenting has to squeeze around lots of commitments that make us busy. But the window of parenting kids isn’t all that big. The years pass so quick and before you know it, they’re moving out. Don’t pass up the opportunity to spend time with your kids.

Studying Donald Trump’s presidency shows that parenting is just like running a country, only on a smaller scale. It’s about being the boss, nimble decision-making and having a clear plan.

Of course, the downside is that everyone will blame you if you don’t get it right, there’s never enough money and it’s hard to get everyone to agree with you.

But the one thing parents have over the President, is that we don’t have to stand for elections.

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