How 5 parents and teachers are talking about Trump with children this week.

Late on Election Day, as victory slipped further and further out of Hillary Clinton's reach, CNN commentator Van Jones had some powerful words.

"It's hard to be a parent tonight for a lot of us," he began. "You tell your kids don't be a bully. You tell your kids don't be a bigot. You tell your kids do your homework and be prepared. And then you have this outcome."

"You have people putting children to bed tonight, and they're afraid of breakfast," he said. "They're afraid of, 'How do I explain this to my children?'"


Clinton supporters were devastated by the loss. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Truthfully, this is hard to explain. In many cases, you might feel like you can't explain Trump's election to your kids. But as any parent or teacher knows, you also can't crawl into a hole and hide away during dark times. Our kids need us to be brave, to explain things to them that may not make sense, and to give them some sense of hope.

So I talked to five people who are helping our kids this week. I asked them how they're handling those difficult conversations. This is what they said.

1. Meet Leyna Odell and her 6-year-old daughter, Piper.

"I talked to my daughter about it and said I was sad my side lost but that now we have to try more than ever to be kind and helpful to people," Leyna wrote.

She told her daughter that she needs to be a friend to everyone and help people who might be scared of hurting. Then she encouraged Piper to draw out her feelings.

Photos by Leyna Odell, used with permission.

Leyna explained, "It's 'the week we don't like,' showing Clinton supporters in the rain, her voting for Clinton, and then a picture of an angry guy saying he doesn't like anyone with her asking, 'Can I help?'

2. Meet Lindsay Reno, a sixth-grade teacher outside of Boston.

Lindsay said most of her students are immigrants or children of immigrants, from places like the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, and Haiti. About 80% of them speak a language other than English at home.

"What made today really difficult is, as a teacher, you have the obligation to be a calming force among your students," she said. "But it was hard not to show our feelings on our faces as we talked to our kids (on Wednesday)."

"There were some kids crying really hard because they were worried about their parents being deported."

Lindsay said she did not tell her students that Donald Trump should not be president. That, she said, would be crossing a moral line. Instead, she wanted them to understand how the electoral college works, what the Constitution says, and how the system can improve.

But after she explained that, it was pretty obvious that the conversation would need to go further. "There were some kids crying really hard because they were worried about their parents being deported," she said.

So she and her fellow teachers did the best they could to be there for the students, listen to them, answer their questions, and above all, show them that they are loved.

"We didn't really know what we were doing," she said. "It wasn't perfect."

But it was a start.

3. Meet Genevieve Fitzgerald Davis and her 4-year-old son, Jonah.

Photo by Genevieve Fitzgerald, used with permission.

Jonah is too young to follow the election closely, but even he could see Trump's unique brand of hatred and bigotry.

"At one point he was with my mom, and they were watching the news, and Jonah said, 'Oh, that's Donald Trump, he doesn't like me.'" Genevieve said. "He made the connection himself; he said, 'He doesn't like me because I'm brown, and Donald Trump doesn't like brown people.'"

The day after Trump became president-elect, Genevieve said she and Jonah only briefly touched on the results. "I didn't want to ruin his whole day," she said.

But she did tell him two things. First, when Jonah was confused because "Donald Trump is not nice," she told him that it didn't matter because they were always going to be nice to people. And second, she wanted him to know that just because the result wasn't what they wanted, it didn't mean they weren't going to fight for something better.

"The more I can help out with my local government or donations or volunteering, I want him to see me as an example," she said. "I want him to be proud of me."

4. Meet Patrick Wilson, a high school teacher.

Photo via Patrick Wilson, used with permission.

"Kids are definitely more informed than they used to be," Patrick said of his ninth-, 10th- and 12th-grade social studies students.

So he didn't hold back on diving into the nitty gritty with them. As each period entered his room, they were met by the full electoral college map on the front board. Patrick led discussions on how Trump won key battleground states and how his election might affect the Supreme Court and the actions of Congress.

But the nuts and bolts of the election wasn't the only thing on the kids' minds.

"The hardest question I got today, one that took me back, a kid said, 'I don't understand how the country elected a racist.'" Another girl was worried about Mike Pence and his harsh views on abortion rights.

Patrick didn't know how to answer. He just tried to be a comforting presence as much as he could.

"I said, 'He's going to be President Trump, not King Trump,' He's not going to be able to do whatever he wants."

5. Meet Emily Ellsworth and her 6-year-old daughter, Abigail.

Photo by Emily Ellsworth, used with permission.

Emily has spent the majority of this election cycle actively campaigning for Hillary Clinton. So her 6-year-old daughter, Abigail, quickly became enamored with the idea of our country's first female president.

It gave her hope that she, too, might one day run the country. "She told me several times that she thought she'd be next," Emily said. But it was not to be, at least not this election cycle.

"(Wednesday) morning she woke up and ran into my room and asked me who won, and I had to tell her," Emily said, holding back tears of her own. "She didn't believe me. She was in shock. And she cried."

Emily says she had planned on talking to her daughter about the importance of hard work, preparation, and kindness. About how people came together to vote for what was right. Instead, she's giving her a lesson on how to deal with crushing disappointment. But Emily is determined to find a positive lesson in all of this.

"We're going to have some hard conversations about protecting and being there for her friends who are scared," she said. "Children, and adults, who are scared of what a Trump presidency represents for them."

The one common thread I found is that we can't hide from this.

But that doesn't mean we have to accept it. We can fight back by being kind to one another, by maintaining hope, and by continuing to work toward a better world.

Whatever we choose to do, America's children will be watching.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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