“Your children are watching” is a parental truism worthy of frequent repetition.
Of course children are always observing and learning from adults, including those who are not their parents.
Perhaps that’s why there has been so much discussion in recent weeks about how parents can educate their children about the value of civil conversations regarding important civic matters in an environment made toxic by Donald Trump.
One problem, among many, of such destructive public figures is that their attitudes, language, and behavior can infect a society.
Children are particularly vulnerable because the vast majority of their learning is through observation, imitation, and experimentation.
All of that means that it is essential that parents, teachers, and other significant adults engage children in just-in-time conversations about what they are observing and learning and offer corrective perspectives and information.
The challenge is to turn the events they see on TV and hear discussed around them into meaningful teachable moments about democracy, the rule of law, and the practice of respectful civic conversations.
The only other option is a generation of young people coming to view recent political events as the new normal.
If that came to be it would be one of Donald Trump’s most destructive and lasting legacies.