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about what lessons they will absorb from the media-saturated culture around us. How can my son grow to be a young man who treats others with respect and compassion? How will my daughter negotiate the prejudices and dangers of a Trumped-up world? The Republican nominee rose in popularity by preaching fear. Now, as a parent in Canada, I feel a rising panic, too. The silver lining has been how the U.S. election has provided excuses to talk with our kids about difficult subjects. Every

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David Leach

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Dadspeak news cycle brought another “teachable moment” for parents to discuss lessons about lying, bullying, racism, sexism and general boorishness. In Canada, we can feel lucky that most leaders across our political spectrum aspire to higher ideals. We have a Prime Minister who proudly calls himself a feminist. MLA Andrew Weaver wrote a law to get B.C. universities to implement sexual misconduct policies. Victoria mayor Lisa Helps has made empathy a cornerstone of her administration. M.P. Elizabeth May has worked for decades to leave a better world for future generations. So that’s why we balked when our son hoped to walk the streets of Victoria as Donald Trump. Yes, we knew it was a gag. Yes, we knew thousands of kids around the globe might don Donald masks or apply tanin-a-can to become mini-megalomaniacs for a night. But after months of his hate speech, we weren’t laughing anymore. We talked to our son about why a Donald costume was a non-starter. He understood and agreed to alter his plans. On Halloween, he trick-or-treated as a zombie banana instead. That’s 2016 for you. There’s something a little rotten in our state when a giant undead fruit seems less scary to parents than a presidential candidate. I hope one of these monsters will be tossed onto the compost heap of history before we all ring in the new year. David Leach is the author of Chasing Utopia (ECW Press) and the assistant coach of the Carnarvon Red Pandas. IslandParent.ca

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Island Parent December 2016  

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