Tough to teach kids about bullies when there's one in the White House

How do our children process the mixed messages our current culture sends them about bullying? We teach them that bullying is wrong. It is hurtful to others and is not an appropriate way to treat people. Schools support this value enforcing rules against any type of bullying. We watch videos, read articles, and listen to stories of the personal damage bullying can have upon a person.

So, how do we explain to our children that our current president uses bullying as a regular part of his deal making? Calling other world leaders and colleagues cowards, weak, untruthful, liars, stupid, ugly and other hurtful names sends a dangerous mixed message to our children (“Trump slams Canada anew from Singapore: ‘Fair trade is now to be called Fool Trade if it is not Reciprocal,’” June 10). Exactly what lessons are they learning from this kind of behavior from the leader of the free world?

More importantly, what does the acceptance of this behavior say about our citizens? According to polls measuring President Donald J. Trump’s approval ratings, approximately 40 percent of Americans approve of his performance as the leader of our country. The Americans who are in this 40 percent are sending the message loud and clear that bullying behavior is acceptable as long as it gets you to your goals.

Imagine a future America where bullying is the way to get things done. Our children emulate our leaders. Our children learn from the actions and values of the adults in their lives. I hope the Americans who approve of President Trump think long and hard about the values they are teaching our children.

Ken Johnson, Sykesville

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