A frustrated mother writes to Meghan Leahy, the Washington Post “On Parenting” advice columnist, asking how to get her 4 ½ year old to follow directions. “I don’t know how to impose logical consequences on something like, ‘Kid, put your shoes on now, please. It’s time to go to school,’” the mother pleads.
Leahy wisely responds:
“… drop the idea that rewards and logical consequences will have a real effect on a preschooler. The problem with these choices is that the logic is trying to appeal to a part of the brain that is simply undeveloped. It would be like trying to reason with a baby who is throwing food on the floor, which no sane adult would ever do. Why not? It would occur to them that the baby is not rational. Well, a 4½ -year-old is not rational either. Yes, you will see wonderful glimpses of reason and empathy, but they will come and go as your son matures. It is normal.”
Wise words to follow, right? Then why are we still trying to reason with people who love and support Trump, think he’s doing a great job, thrill in how he’s making a mockery of the presidency, and smear anyone with the temerity to suggest otherwise? The First Toddler is not rational. Neither is defending the flurry of childish antics from the President of the United States.
Or maybe I’m the one who’s irrational to expect Trumpsters to question their choice. Speaking for myself, after Trump has already trashed too many campaign applause-line promises to tally, I would feel played for a slack-jawed yokel who would swallow anything he says and love anything he does.
Maybe folks can’t see that he’s suckered them. Maybe Trump really wasn’t blowing smoke when he declared at an Iowa rally a year ago, “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay?” (Or maybe red county flyover folks kinda like imagining a New York elite sauntering out of Saks and dropping from a Trump golden bullet.)
For the growing ranks of the Trump doubters, what can we, who worry about children running the country, do? When handling an irrational toddler, Meghan Leahy advises, “drop the idea that your son should care about the same things you care about” and “stop using logic to combat emotion.” Instead, parents should take cues from preschool teachers. “A great teacher will assume children are doing the best they can and smile … they don’t raise their voices.” They “try not to take things personally” and “make room for the tears,” letting kids blow off steam.
I know moms and dads that give their kids time-out safe spaces to act out when they’re having a tantrum. For angry Trumpsters, the online comment sections are a good place for that.
It seems to work. Take a look at the comments section on a Breitbart.com piece about Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s dismay over the chamber’s confirmation of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General. Rational adults accept that since Sessions will be responsible for carrying out civil rights laws, it’s reasonable for Schumer and many others — right and left — to be concerned given the allegations of racist views and comments by Sessions that led a Senate committee to reject him for a federal judgeship in 1986.
The irrational and unreasonable have a different view. For them, the alt-right Breitbart is a much better, safer place to vent than, say, in front of company. A selected sample of the best:
schumer is seriously trash, like the rest of the liberals ,, now just use their own rules and push everything through ,, then clobber all the rioters and their soros payroll bosses
P.S. someone tell the senile mentalcases waters that putin didnt invade korea and pelosi that bush isnt president
By the time Trump is done all the Dems will be projectile vomiting. What a glorious site that will be!
its funny how the dems who called him this racist and bigot found it ok before trump ran to go out to eat with him go to party’s go on video to say what a good guy he is .. idk bout you but if i know a racist i tend to not want to hang out with them.. so either they’re lying about him or dont care he is this racist and bigot because they are bigots and racist..
Hey Chucky I hope you die of eye cancer you miserable communist flimsy-knuckled vomitfondler stink-bearded pee-gargler. die in pain you disgusting slug!
OBAMA IS THE PRESIDENT RESPONSIBLE FOR SANCTUARY CITIES, AND ALLOWING IN ISLAMIC MILITANTS AS WELL AS DRUG DEALERS. OBAMA IS THE MUSLIM THAT IS TRYING TO BUILD THE ISLAMIC CALIPHATE WORLD WIDE AND ENABLE IRAN TO GET NUCLEAR WEAPONS. THE GOVERNMENT OF, BY, AND FOR OBAMA WAS GRINDING AMERICA DOWN FROM WITHIN. GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT.
Assuming these comments are not from Russian trolls, it’s unfair to suggest that this angry, crazy fit-storm sounds like a 4 ½ year old who can’t have a cookie before dinner. A kid that age doesn’t use words like “caliphate.” And if a friend’s kid yelled “flimsy-knuckled vomitfondler stink-bearded pee-gargler!” I would need emergency hernia surgery from busting my abdominal wall laughing. And immediately invest in the kid’s college fund.
Please also overlook the spelling, grammar, syntax and usage in the Breitbart comments. I’d be an East Coast liberal elitist Chuzzlewit to pecksniff the trenchant views of true patriots over a silly thing like neglecting to capitalize Soros.
And to fake my objectivity, let me recognize that MSNBC, HuffPo, Daily Kos, Think Progress and other flaccid rivals to Breitbart — not to mention the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, C-Span and other mainstream fake news — attract their share of comments from the passionate, partisan misinformed who betray their stupidity by, for example, ending sentences prepositions with. And misuse their colons. (Pause for punch line.) But, my Trumpster friends: You soundly defeated the liberals. Give us a break.
Full disclosure: I’m not a parent, and unlike the Washington Post’s Meghan Leahy, not even a certified parent coach. My invaluable, infallible wisdom about children and raising them derives from the pristine objectivity of the completely inexperienced and clueless.
But I know enough about kids to be done arguing with Trump supporters. When I get a pro-Trump or liberal-slamming Facebook post, I’ll follow Leahy’s advice to parents, smile and say it’s ok, I love you anyway. As Leahy says, “Are you fibbing? Sure, but it is your job to control your emotions.”
All that said, most important, if this proverbial “flimsy-knuckled vomitfondler stink-bearded pee-gargler” really exists, then I really have to meet this person and ask a few questions. Such as, “What’s that like? Do you like it? In the morning, do you get up, have coffee, and then get onto, um, business, or do you fondle vomit and gargle pee first thing? Can you do this at the office, or do you have to wait until you get back home? What does your mom think and say? What about your friends and family? What’s Thanksgiving like?”
Jeffrey Denny is a Washington communications professional and writer