Five Things to Do with Your Girl the Day After the Election
If your family seems to be feeling more and more stressed as the election approaches, you’re not alone. With issues on the ballot that will impact both our everyday lives and the direction of the nation, it feels for many like an election that their party can’t afford to lose. “This election isn’t just about red versus blue,” says Lydia E., a mother based in Los Angeles, “it’s about humanity.”
Whether your candidate of choice is declared the winner or the loser on election night, or the results are unclear, our girls will be looking to us to gauge how to feel and respond. Once you’ve cast your vote, take a few minutes to think through how you’ll spend the day after the election, no matter the outcome. Check out the list below for some post-election activities that will help you and your girl stay grounded, engaged and hopeful.
Encourage her to use her voice
Whether your candidate of choice has been declared the winner or loser, take a few minutes to sit with your girl and help her write a letter to the president-elect sharing what she hopes will be accomplished in the next four years. If the results are uncertain, take the opportunity to help your girl stand up for herself and others by encouraging her to pen a letter to her representatives urging them to ensure the democratic process is followed and that every vote that was cast is counted.
Take direct action in your community
Girls on the Run inspires girls to build lives of purpose and to make a meaningful contribution to community and society. This comes to life through a key element of the curricula when each team creates and executes a Community Impact Project. You can bring this powerful lesson to life with your girl by working together to plan a day of local action no matter what happens on election night. Brainstorm ideas with your daughter and then make a plan to clean up a local park, volunteer with an organization she cares about or create something beautiful to share with someone she loves. Helping your girl enact her power now will ensure she knows that no matter what’s happening on the national stage, she can shape her community through her actions.
Take a breather
When things are heated, it’s important to stop and take a breather. At Girls on the Run, we strive to nurture our physical, spiritual and emotional health. You can do this in your own life by turning off the news and committing to spending some politics-free time with your girl. Pick up a good book and spend some time reading together, get outside and feel the fresh air or head to the kitchen to bake something you’ll enjoy sharing as a family. The decisions our political leaders make impact us all every day, and there’s no way to opt out of that, but taking time to think about something else for the good of your mental health is important for you and for the girl who is learning how to take care of herself by watching you.
Talk about your family values
While the party who holds office impacts a lot, they don’t have any power over the values your family holds close to their hearts. Make a plan to have a post-election talk with your girl about the values that matter most to you and to help her explore those that matter most to her.
Make a plan to stay engaged
While campaigning ends on election day, the work of creating a better, more loving and caring world continues on. How you become a part of that change might look different depending on who is in office, but there’s no doubt that being a part of that change is important. Talk with your girl about the issues she feels most passionate about and make a plan to stay engaged.
We all hope to leave the world a better place for our children. No matter how the election turns out, you and your girl have the power to help make that hope a reality. “When things in the news are bad, I tell my girl that we can be a part of the change we hope to see,” says Lydia E. This election season, let’s all work our hardest to follow that advice.
At Girls on the Run, one of the crucial social-emotional lessons we teach girls is to embrace their differences and find strength in their connectedness. To register your girl for our upcoming program season, connect with your local council today. For more meaningful tips on communicating with your girl, visit our Parent Resources page.