Skip Nav
Pink Posts Family Band Instagram Video 2019
Pink's Bedtime Routine With Her Kids Includes Death Metal: "Things Are Going Really Well"
marie kondo
A Marie Kondo-Follower But Don’t Want to Buy Expensive Boxes? These Are All Less Than $9
Gifts For Men
19 Genius Gifts Your S.O. Will Be Thrilled to Receive
Pier 1 Imports
Wait, Did You Know Pier 1 Imports Had This Much Cute Valentine's Day Decor?
This Valentine's Day Decor From Walmart Is So Cute — and Oh Yeah, Most of It Is Under $5

How to Discuss the Republican Debates With Kids

I Didn't Realize I'd Have to Discuss Penis Size With My Son While Watching the Republican Debate

When my 10-year old son asked me if he could stay up to watch the Republican debate last night, exhaustion the next morning was the only thing I thought I had to worry about.

Over the past two months, I've been pleasantly surprised by my sports-obsessed son's recent interest in the election cycle, something I credit his amazing fourth grade teachers with instilling in him. Though I'm the poli-sci major and political junkie who spent a Summer prepping national newscasters for the '96 election, it was his teachers' homework assignment of picking a candidate and studying them through the entire campaign season that convinced my son to turn off SportsCenter and turn on the national news. So when he asked to watch some of the Republican debate, I happily obliged.

Little did I know it would digress into a pissing match so soon. While my son's been studying up on the candidates' positions on climate change, gun control, and education, we turned on the TV just in time to hear Donald Trump discuss the size of his manhood in response to an earlier insinuation by Marco Rubio — because this election cycle, that's how low we're going. In case you missed it, this is how it went down:


"He hit my hands. Nobody has ever hit my hands. I have never heard of this. Look at those hands. Are they small hands?
And he referred to my hands — if they are small, something else must be small — I guarantee you there's no problem. I guarantee you."

As the audience in Detroit's Fox Theater erupted in laughter, my son looked at me uncomfortably. I rolled my eyes and nodded. "Yes," I said. "He's referring to his private parts. And, no, that's not what's supposed to happen in a debate."

But nothing seems to be happening the way it's supposed to this year. All aspects of decorum and dignity appear to be missing. Candidates are slinging insults at each other like nobody's business. And they're spewing hate and vulgarities that make me cringe. It makes me want to cover his ears and have him go back to watching SportsCenter, but I'm not going to do that. This is real life in 2016 and we all need to get used to it.

As the debate raged on, I did a little research and learned that even the earliest campaigns featured crude name calling that focused on the candidates crotches. In 1800, a mere 14 years after the US declared its independence from England, then-Vice President Thomas Jefferson accused John Adams of having a "hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman." To counter that, Adams's campaign advisers called Jefferson "a mean-spirited, low-lived fellow, the son of a half-breed Indian squaw, sired by a Virginia mulatto father." There just weren't 24-hour newscasts and an Internet to bring up the name-calling on repeat ad nauseam. It all goes to show that what goes around comes around.

I had assumed I could have shown my son that we've made some progress over the past 216 years.

Image Source: Getty / Geoff Robbins
From Our Partners
Big Teddy Bears For Kids 2019
It's OK to Have Multiple Baby Showers For the Same Baby
What Is a Sip and See?
Why You Shouldn't Give Pregnant Women Advice
Are Birthing Classes Worth It?
I'm Glad I Didn't Have a Baby Shower
How Acupuncture Helped My Anxiety
Cute Flower Girl Pictures
Why Birthing Classes Aren't Worth It
Mara Beauty Universal Face Oil Review
Is It OK For Kids to Want to Be Alone All the Time?
Signs Your Child May Have a Learning Disability
From Our Partners
Latest Family
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds