Election Anxiety: How Not to Scar Your Kids

Election Anxiety. You’re hearing a lot about it. But our advice to parents is probably the most overlooked and important for your family. We’re going to talk about ways to protect your children from the very big and scary things, namely your unchecked reactions and feelings. And we’re going to outline a strategy and ways to get through November without scarring our kids.

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Show Notes

1:40 Lynn cites the American Psychological Association research, 68% of adults say currently that the election is “a significant source of stress.”

19:39 Lynn references a past episode that talks about when parents argue  and model a resolution verses the vitriol of political debates among family members.

29:04 And Robin recommends all three seasons of Long Way Up starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman as an antidote for election anxiety.

30:22  Lynn recommends the Dolly Parton documentary Here I Am on Netflix.

32:20 please join the Flusterclux Facebook group. And we want to let our listeners know that we are switching our schedule, and new episodes arrive Friday at 12:00AM EST. Episode 27 arrives October 23rd.

Follow Flusterclux on Facebook and Instagram.

Follow Lynn Lyons on Twitter and Youtube.

Election Anxiety Guide To Coping

Episode Transcript

Robin Hutson  0:22 

Welcome to Flusterclux, where we talk worry and other big feelings with Lynn Lyons. You’re here because your family has some anxiety issues, or you want to prevent them. I’m your co-host, and Lynn’s sister-in-law, Robin. I’m a mom of two who’s had a front row seat to Lynn’s approach to emotionally intelligent parenting, and I’m here to ask your questions.

Lynn Lyons  0:43 

And Hi, I’m Lynn Lyons. I’m an anxiety expert, speaker, Mom, and author, and I’ve been a therapist for 30 years, parenting can be a Flusterclux, and I will help you find your way.

Hi, Robin.

Robin Hutson  0:56 

Hi, Lynn.

Lynn Lyons  0:57 

How are you today?

Good, good. It’s weeks away from the election now.

Yes. And we’ve been talking about it and thinking about it. It really is everywhere that I turn in any part of my day. And so, I think we agree that would be something in terms of this podcast, that we could really talk to parents about this because it feels pretty fraught in terms of the emotional intensity of what’s going on in our country right now.

Robin Hutson  1:28 

It does. And I think that there is absolutely a right way to manage our emotions around the election for our kids. And there is a way that we will be making this much harder on all of us.

Lynn Lyons  1:40 

Yeah. And it was interesting, because as we were getting prepared to do this, I was just looking up a little stats. And I found one that I thought was pretty interesting. So, the American Psychological Association, 68% of adults say currently that the election is “a significant source of stress.”

And this is across all parties. It doesn’t matter if you’re even affiliated with the party, just human beings, adults in this country, 68% of them are talking about the significant stress. In contrast, they said in 2016, 52% said it was a  “somewhat significant source of stress.” So, I think it’s sort of stating the obvious that it just feels a lot more intense as we are dealing with this.

Robin Hutson  2:20 

I mean, I know it does for me, and I know it does for you, too. I will say this, here’s like the one plus of the election stress that I adore, in our families, since you’re my sister in law, there’s this whole football chat, a family group text, and I have zero interest in that. But we’ve created a political election chat that I’m a part of, and I love it.

Lynn Lyons  2:41 

And welcome, I am enjoying our political chat, because it is a way for us to feel connected.

Election Anxiety Can Make You Ruminate

Robin Hutson  2:46 

Well, one thing that we might want to talk about first is just the level of obsession that one can have. This is definitely ripe for ruminating. It is. It’s so easy to get caught up in it and to just think about it nonstop. So why don’t you talk to us a little bit about that? And how do we know first of all, what becomes unhealthy? And then if we sort of feel guilty with being unhealthy, what do we do to get out of it?

Lynn Lyons  3:14 

Remember, ruminating means that you’re going over the same thing over and over again. And the tricky thing about ruminating is that it disguises itself as problem solving. It’s like chewing gum. So, you’re chewing, and you’re working, but you’re really not getting any nutritional value out of that piece of gum. And you’re never swallowing it on purpose.

So, if you are ruminating, what that means is you’re really sort of stuck. And when people ruminate, they often are going to those catastrophic places, and they’re thinking about worst case scenarios. It’s a pattern in your thinking that actually is really associated with feeling pretty helpless and oftentimes feeling pretty stuck.

It is also a big risk factor for anxiety and depression, particularly in women. Women ruminate more than men. The main thing, of course, that we have to pay attention to is that we show our children how to do it. So, if you are a ruminator. And if you’re talking about the same thing, or you’re really having only having conversations about it, if they see your emotional distress, if you’re doing it externally, they’re watching you ruminate.

And the thing about ruminating internally because lots of times parents will say like, “Well, they don’t know what I’m thinking and I don’t talk about it in front of them.” If you’re ruminating internally, you’re really disconnecting from what’s going on around you. Just as we’ve said with worrying, you can’t really worry and be present for your child. The same goes for ruminating, and ruminating and worry are really twins, not identical twins, but probably fraternal twins.

It’s just that process of going over something over and over again. So, you should really pay attention to how you are doing this to what you are doing to the conversations that your kids are overhearing. Our brains are going to do it anyway. This is what our brains do because they’re seeking certainty. And you’re trying to find figure this out, and you’re trying to chew on this mental cud.

Be aware of your pattern when you’re doing it. Be aware of how disconnected you feel from the people around you, when you’re in that state of just ruminating about this, and going over and over it, it really creates stress in your mind, it creates stress in your body. And it really impacts your relationships, for sure.

Robin Hutson  5:22 

One of the things that is helpful too, because in my marriage, I tend to think about politics more than my husband, for example. And so, whenever I’m upset about a world event, he’s very good at listening, and then sort of steering me to changing the subject, and you know, in front of the kids, and I take the cue, like, I get it. It’s like, okay, I’ve done I’ve said, what I needed to say, let’s move on. And let’s find like a different topic, I think it can be teamwork.

And I think it’s meaningful to have a conversation with your partner, we’re about to go through a pretty rough season, just like when the pandemic began, like when, when there are world events, you’ll have to be a team rather than be adversaries. Let’s help each other manage good, solid conversation in front of the kids.

Lynn Lyons  6:08 

And I think the thing that you said that is so important is that you take the cue. Because oftentimes when somebody tries to steer you in a different direction, or say, Let’s not talk about that, then your initial response might be to get defensive. So, your ability to sort of take the cue, that means you really are working as a team.

My husband will say the same thing about me, because I definitely talk about it more than him, he’ll say, you know, I think you’re just fretting about this, he uses the word fretting, but I have to take the cue. That’s the important part of this. Because otherwise, it just turns into an argument.

This sort of reminds me actually, and my kids were at such different ages when this of course, because when 9-11 happened, my kids were one in three. And so, the way that we were talking about it, and what they were aware of it was so different developmentally.

And now they’re 20 and 22. So of course, they know everything that’s going on, and they have opinions about it, and we can have discussions about it. But it really is making sure that it doesn’t turn into this really ruminative catastrophic negative thing.

And it really is easy to go there, and our brains are gonna go there. You got to hold yourself a little bit accountable in terms of how much you’re marinating yourself in this.

Stress From Politics? Do Something

Robin Hutson  7:19 

Right. Doing something matters a lot. And I think that getting involved, I have a friend who channeled all of her energy into getting incredibly involved in her local political scene. She made great friends; it led to other job opportunities, she found that she needed to channel all of her political energy into something constructive. And ultimately, of course, that was about making connection, meeting other people and coming together in a really positive way for whatever cause people want to stand behind. So that’s an incredibly positive thing.

Not everyone has the time to do that, too. I think it’s also really powerful to think about where you donate, whatever cause means a lot to you to what monthly contributions do you do? I’m a firm believer, even if you give $5 to $10 a month, to one cause if that’s all you can do, I really believe that we all need to be investing in the world that we want to live in, so that we don’t feel so helpless.

Lynn Lyons  8:16 

Volunteering and being involved in a meaningful cause, it just is a mood shifter. And I think it’s a wonderful thing to model for your kids. Like you’re saying, Robin, if you don’t have a lot of time, or maybe you’re not all that interested in getting involved in your local political scene or whatever, it doesn’t matter.

If you are volunteering at the animal shelter, if you are taking your kids and dropping off Purina Cat Chow for the little kittens that are at the animal shelter, all of that helps. And it really is okay to just look at it in a very broad way that when I am doing something meaningful, that supports other people or other creatures in a way that shows my empathy and my kindness and my concern for others, that makes us feel better. So, do whatever you can do and model that for your kids. They’re going to see you feel better, and they’re going to feel better. So just look for those opportunities, because of course, they’re everywhere. And they’re always everywhere, not just during an election season.

Find Reporting, Not Commentary

Robin Hutson  9:16 

So, let’s talk about news consumption first. Mm hmm. People are now getting their news, typically from media that is with a bias. There are fascinating charts that show bias from the extreme right to the extreme left, and then where each news outlet falls. I think that it can be really important if you find that the news is giving you a really powerful emotional reaction to go to a neutral news site instead of maybe what you typically went to.

Reuters and there are a couple of others that are news wire sites, the AP. What I think a lot of people don’t get if they don’t have a background in media, which I do, is that there is a difference between reporting and political commentary.

Lynn Lyons  9:57 


Robin Hutson  9:57 

Political commentary is when an expert is meant to synthesize that news and lace that news with their opinions and their expertise of why they believe a certain thing. That is opinionated. There is a very big difference between that and hearing what the AP wire says this happened this day at this time in this place, right?

So, if you feel like you need to know what’s really going on, but you want to avoid all of the spin, that’s what you want to look for, you want to get your news from a generic reporting source. And I think it’s just very important not only to make sure you understand those differences, but to also teach your children and give them a good media education as well.

Lynn Lyons  10:37 

Somebody that I was listening to recently was making that differentiation. And I had that same thought, Robin. I was like, I bet a lot of people don’t even know that this differentiation exists. Like they think they’re watching the news when they’re watching commentary, or they think they’re getting the news, but they’re really getting something that’s very emotionally laden. And so, I think that’s an excellent tip. And I think it’s such a good thing. If we’re talking about helping our kids become critical thinkers and helping them assess information in all sorts of ways, this is a really good, a really good opportunity to talk to them about that for sure.

Rediscover music again; make playlists

I just think, too, that it really is important for us to know that we can take a break from it. And I know it sounds cliche, like get off social media, or don’t watch the news so much. But I was listening to somebody was talking to me the other day, and they were saying that they have forgotten how important music was.

My sister was saying that to me the other day, too, that a lot of us have forgotten that we used to put our earbuds in our ears and just rock out to some great music. And now we’re just inundated with all of this talk, talk, talk. We need to take a break from it.

Robin Hutson  11:49 

It’s true. I mean, taking a social media breaks is doable. I’ll be the first to admit, like this fall and this summer when we have spent days away from social media being outside doing things as a family, of course, it felt completely rejuvenative

Lynn Lyons  12:03 

I know. It does. I think everybody should just take a moment and think about if there’s anything that they really enjoy doing that in all of this crazy time we’ve been in that they’ve sort of lost track of. Like did you use to read a novel before you went to bed.

Did you use to, like I said, make a playlist of music that you would have in your ears when you went walking or running? Or I know we’ve all talked about like baking ad nauseum. We’ve all been baking, baking, baking, but was there something that you were doing or that is a part of who you are that because of this onslaught of all this stuff we’ve been dealing with that you maybe have let go of sort of doom scrolling. Maybe you pick up a novel at night or just get yourself absorbed in some fiction or, you know, just take a break from it. The stress of it really wears you down.

Robin Hutson  12:52 

I’ve started a nightly habit with my son before bed. My son and I snuggle and watch these babies and puppy videos and baby kitties and the world feels okay.

Lynn Lyons  13:02 

My husband loves beagles. Every night I get a Pinterest notification. And they’re like 15 pictures of Beagle puppies, and we look at it every night. So, it’s like you watching baby and puppy videos. We just look at pictures of baby beagles. So, if you can find something in your life that just gives you that little smile, It’s a guaranteed emotional boost.

Robin Hutson

Was he into Snoopy as a kid? Just curious.

Lynn Lyons

Well, he had beagles as a kid.

Robin Hutson  13:29 


Lynn Lyons  13:30 

They’re the naughtiest breed because they score high on intelligence and low on obedience. He just totally relates to beagles, including me. I mean, I think you would choose me over a beagle if he had the chance.

Robin Hutson  13:41 

He would not.

How Your Election Anxiety Can Damage Your Kids

Lynn Lyons  13:42 

There’s another thing we want to talk about that I guess maybe it feels more serious is there is a lot of research, that parental reaction, when something difficult happens when something really stressful is going on.

Parental reaction has a very big impact on how your child will do. So, in the most extreme cases, when we talk about post traumatic stuff, when we talk about chronic stress, when we talk about things that kids go through, a parental reaction matters. And it will impact how your child views their own well-being and their place in the world. So, I know that is kind of a loaded sentence. So, let me just explain that a little bit.

What I mean by that is their stress about something depends a lot on your reaction to it. And when we look at what’s called parental appraisal, so how you interpret something, if your appraisal of an event is very negative in a way that makes your child believe that the event will have a permanent impact on them, that it also makes them feel more vulnerable in the world. And it focuses on the negative aspects rather than  any positive aspects. That is a robust predictor for a child having increased stress and a more lasting even trauma reaction to it.

So I think it’s really important for parents to really hear that those three things, I’ll just repeat those three things, if a child hears you talking about an event in which you are talking about it having a permanent impact, that they are going to be more vulnerable because of the event, and that you are focusing on the negative aspects of it, your child is going to suffer significantly. It’s a robust predictor.

Robin Hutson  15:36 

So, you know, you have this phrase, the vanilla ice cream club. So, what that really means is being neutral to leave space for your child’s feelings, and to stay in a place where you’re emotionally neutral and bland. It is that effort that a parent would put into masking and disguising a very strong emotional reaction for the sake of your child.

I will tell you that the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do as a parent has actually been faking a neutral reaction to a past event. It was the hardest thing I’d ever had to do. But I knew it was critical to do. And to say, here, this tragic thing happened. And I said, it as “It happened. Yeah, and it’s gonna be fine. We’re gonna handle it.”

And I can’t stress enough. And I know, this is really what you’re saying, you got to figure out your game now. You have to know how you’re going to convey if you don’t get the outcome you want. Or if it’s uncertain, you have to think ahead how you are going to manage it and be as neutral as possible. And this is the thing I want to say. We’re not saying that there aren’t catastrophes that are valid, right? Like they’re absolutely, but that is not what we can do as parents.

Lynn Lyons  16:46 

It’s just that it’s asking too much of a child to take care of a parent’s emotional distress.

It’s okay for parents to show their emotions, it’s okay for them to grieve. And It’s okay for them to be frustrated. Of course, it’s okay to convey that having feelings and talking about feelings are okay. But when it crosses the line that a child feels like they need to take care of you that makes them feel vulnerable.

And there’s even a psychobabble term for that. We call it a parentified child. Because there are families where parents are really not good at emotional management, they’re not good at making their children feel as if they are capable of taking care of them. And those kids step up and become the parents in the family. And that’s again, a dramatic example of that.

But I think, Robin, you’re exactly right, is that how do we convey to our kids that we’ll get through this, and so that they aren’t scared and terrified that you’re not capable of taking care of them? Because that’s the message that they get. The message is that they are vulnerable, and that you won’t get through this and that the impact is permanent. It’s your job to be there for them.

You can have conversations about it, you can express your feelings about it, but you don’t want to overwhelm them in a way that makes them feel that you aren’t capable of protecting them emotionally. And psychologically. That’s your job as a parent.

And you’ve got to pay attention to that during all of this.

Robin Hutson  18:16 

Let’s break this down in like really practical steps, too.

Because as we think about what will happen in November, of course, we are not saying that every adult has to invalidate their own response. But it means planning ahead and figuring out where it is a safe place to have that.

Lynn Lyons  18:35 


Robin Hutson  18:35 

Who are the people you can talk to in an unfiltered way? What space can that be in and sort of think ahead and don’t be caught off guard?

Lynn Lyons  18:44 

Yeah, well, and I think that it’s sort of like the analogy sometimes is when parents are going through a divorce or a breakup, and they are fighting in front of the kids, right? We know that one of the things that’s most impactful on kids is when two people that they love can’t get along and are fighting. So, one of the things to really pay attention to you don’t want to show your kids that because of what’s going on in this election, what’s going on politically, that family members or close friends are going to become enemies, That you can’t have a conversation with them without fighting. All of that stuff is really hard for kids to understand and really hard for them to tolerate for sure.

Tension With Family Members

Robin Hutson  19:22 

Absolutely. It’s very sad that the stress around all of this and the issues that are at stake are putting so much tension between family members, and how we talk about those and how we frame them for our kids. I think it really, really matters.

Lynn Lyons  19:39 

Yeah. And you know, when you’ve got younger kids, they don’t understand even what you’re talking about. All that they’re picking up on, is that you are angry with each other. All they’re picking up on is the emotional heft behind what’s going on the conflict is what they’re feeling They don’t have the capacity to stand back.

And, and sometimes families, you know, I’ve had family say, “Well, you know, and we fight about this, but, you know, I mean, we’re fighting about politics and we still care about each other, and blah blah.” Well, four-year-olds don’t understand that. Even 10-year-olds don’t understand that. I think, you know, again, you know, we’re moving into the holidays, which is a whole other thing we’ll probably talk about in a future issue, but what you’re going to be with people, as this thing sort of plays out.

Again, we don’t know what’s going to happen. And we don’t know how long it’s going to last. It’s the same thing with the pandemic. It does seem like we’ve just got these things that are just like, you know, when will it be over, but really pay attention to what you do in front of your kids.

Remember, I was telling you about the research that shows that when parents argue in front of their kids, and then they resolve it, and the kids be able to see you work through it, that that’s really beneficial versus parent kids that never see their parents have any conflict.

So there really is a benefit to them, seeing you have a discussion and working through things and having disagreements and having opposing points of view. What I’m talking about is not discussing the issue, but the vitriol and the anger and the disconnection that has become so prevalent.

Robin Hutson  21:16 


Lynn Lyons  21:17 

All the anger and the rage. And it’s not that kids can’t see differing opinions and that their people are passionate about the things that are important to them. It’s not that we don’t want kids to understand that there are a lot of policy differences and a lot of things going on that impact kids, and it’s okay to have those conversations when your child is able to understand it. But just be careful about the conflict that you’re demonstrating to them in front of people that they love, and that they think you love, right? It’s just confusing, and it’s just overwhelming.

Election anxiety and stress with family members

Set Boundaries With Bullies

Robin Hutson  21:49 

A lot of people have that one belligerent relative. And if you say it is my preference, that we do not discuss politics, or get into these following topics in front of my children, and I won’t bring it up either. Yeah, if they can’t honor those boundaries that you set, I personally think you have the permission not to engage with that family member.

Lynn Lyons  22:10 


Robin Hutson  22:10 

They need to understand that those are rules.

Lynn Lyons  22:13 

Yeah, absolutely. You know, think about it not just in terms of political discourse. Say you have this family member that gets belligerent that drinks too much, that says inappropriate things, that uses language or derogatory statements or things that you don’t want your children to be a part of, it is really okay for you to set those boundaries, and to be very clear about them, and to maybe even say to this person, I want you to have a relationship with my children, but I don’t want them to be witness to this, you know, to us having such conflict about this. And you’re right, you’re allowed to set those boundaries. That’s another way that we protect our kids.

Beware of Othering

Robin Hutson  22:48 

One of the other things that I think is worth talking about is that we have to be thoughtful of how we’re talking about people beyond our family and friends. And when we’re talking about and labeling groups of people who don’t think the same way we do, how are we talking about them?

Are we vilifying? Are we dehumanizing? What are we doing to groups of people? I think all of us agree that there’s a sense of division, that none of us want to see. None of us want this to keep going in the same trajectory. We would all like to see that abate going forward. And I think that we have to model that at home. And be careful how we’re talking about groups of people, and that we should be speaking of all groups of people with empathy and compassion.

Lynn Lyons  23:35 

Yeah. And we know that dehumanizing is one of the important components, we don’t do horrific things to other large groups of people until we dehumanize them. And unfortunately, socially, we know that humans have a tendency to do that it’s been going on since the beginning of time. So, I think that’s a really good point is that your children should not hear you dehumanizing.

And I think that kindness and compassion and empathy, it doesn’t mean that you have to accept somebody’s beliefs, it doesn’t mean that you have to have them over for dinner, it doesn’t mean that you have to be best friends with them, but dehumanizing large groups of people. There’s no good outcome to that. We know that historically, there is no good outcome to that. Don’t teach your children how to do that. Don’t show them how to do that.

People, as I said, you know, it’s a significant source of stress. We’re so angry. Remember that when you’re stressed, it comes out sideways. So, your irritability, your ability to tolerate things, your patience, your enjoyment of things, all of that is impacted in a pretty significant way. You’ve got to put on parenting super pajamas, and really help your kids navigate through this. And you know what, as you’re helping them navigate through it, you’re going to be helping yourself, too.

Draft an Election Night Strategy

The other thing, too, I think is important is that parents, you should think ahead to election night. And you should really be clear about some do’s and don’ts for yourself, regardless of which side you’re on and which outcome you want. You need to pay attention to the things that you know will make it worse and the things you know will make it better.

Don’t drink too much. And don’t get engaged in arguments on social media with people, and make sure that you have people around you that are going to be able to manage this and model this and don’t not sleep all night so that the next day you’re incapable of doing what you need to do.

You’ve got to pay attention and have a plan. So that going into this, you can still parent well the next day. You’ve got to be able to do that for your kids.

Robin Hutson  25:47 

I think group chats are a good way for as you’re experiencing certain things to share with other adults that then your children aren’t hearing you. So, I’m going to be creating an election night chat group so that I can be calm and cool on the outside, and then and find sympathetic ear on the other end, and you’re invited.

Lynn Lyons  26:11 

Oh, thanks. Okay, I’m just having this memory. As I’m sitting here, my dad was involved in local politics, when we were growing up, and I remember being at this council meeting, my parents are gonna listen to this and be and they’re gonna be like, Oh, my God.

But my dad, I think was getting appointed to the town council or something, I can’t remember the details, because I was little, and people had to stand up and sort of say things about my dad. And some people were standing up from the opposing political party, because it was politics. And they were saying bad things about my dad, I had no idea how politics worked. I knew that there were different parties. And I certainly knew which one my parents belong to.

It was so hard for me as a little kid, to hear somebody stand up and say bad things about my dad. You know, I have no idea what these different political parties believed in. And so, I think I’m having that memory because it was such an emotional, visceral experience for me as a little kid.

Robin Hutson  27:09 

That’s pretty powerful.

Lynn Lyons  27:10 

You know, I’m having a lot of thoughts about it now. But it just felt so personal to me.

Robin Hutson  27:15 

I might have very strong feelings about a large group of people, but put any person in front of me, and I’m ready to Namaste. I’m ready to find their inner light and connect with them on their inner light.

Lynn Lyons  27:26 


Robin Hutson  27:26 

And I think most people still readily know how to do that with somebody else.

Lynn Lyons  27:31 


Robin Hutson  27:32 

Most people, yes. But I do think a lot of people who could do that with another person, when we start thinking abstractly about large groups of people, we lose that skill. And so that’s sort of that thing about the othering that I was talking about, giving your kids a positive worldview.

Lynn Lyons  27:50 


Robin Hutson  27:50 

About other people being good.

Lynn Lyons  27:52 


Robin Hutson  27:52 

And other people being worthy. Don’t you think that this, this election has the capability of being harder because of the pandemic, and because we’re so isolated right now?

Because I think having the ability to be out and about with other people is a very different feeling and worldview than if we’re all in isolation.

Lynn Lyons  28:14 

And there’s also just chatting with somebody in the grocery store line. And, you know, I remember being a new mom, and you know, being so exhausted, and I would take my baby to the grocery store. One of the things that really uplifted me is that old ladies and I say, you know, like pretty old lady would come up, and they would just ogle at him.

They would say, “Oh, my goodness, I remember when my babies were so little. Enjoy every minute.” And there were just these little interactions in the aisles of the grocery store that I left feeling like, “Oh, my baby’s cute. And I’m going to enjoy every minute.” And it just had this human connection to it. And I think because we can’t do that now. I think it does make an environment which is it’s easier for all of this dehumanizing and animosity to foster, for sure.

Robin Hutson  29:04 

Can I make a show recommendation, not only for you, but so many of our listeners?

Lynn Lyons  29:08 


Robin Hutson  29:09 

And all three seasons are available on Apple TV, Ewan McGregor and his best friend, Charlie, this is so much about everything that we talked about in terms of emotional management. These two guys are out on their motorcycles. They don’t know what they’re going to encounter.

Everything is unknown in the current season is the tip of Argentina, up into Los Angeles going through South America and Central America and Mexico, but they continue to encounter problems. They problem solve. Glorious photography of what the world looks like, which I think for me as a traveler who’s pent up in my home, it is amazing to see the video footage.

But the interactions they have with people all over the world give you such a positive worldview. It also shows you how tiny we are in this world as well.

Lynn Lyons  29:59 

What’s it called? 

Robin Hutson  29:59 

Long Way Down and Long Way Round. And this one is Long Way Up. And so, Ewan McGregor played Obi Wan Kenobi for many people who don’t know him. So even if you’re a subtle Star Wars fan, as he’ll encounter fans in different countries. So, your kids might feel connected to it that way, but they will stay because of the spectacular scenery.

Lynn Lyons  30:19 

Oh, that sounds so great.

Robin Hutson  30:20 

It’s so uplifting.

Lynn Lyons  30:22 

I’ll give you another. I actually watched the Dolly Parton documentary on Netflix last night.

Robin Hutson  30:28 

She’s fabulous.

Lynn Lyons  30:30 

I think a lot of people don’t really know how amazing she really is. In terms of a story about connection and being totally authentic, which is kind of ironic, because when you look at her physical self, but the way she talks about her wigs and her you know her costumes and everything. If you’ve got a daughter, if you’ve got a tweener, teenager, whatever, boy sit down and watch that Dolly Parton documentary. It was on Netflix. it is just a treat, and she is a force to be reckoned with in such a positive way.

Robin Hutson  31:00 

I do think it’s interesting to just point out that you can tell we’re both proactively looking for positive things right now. It’s keeping us levelheaded. Like it’s an essential strategy. Yeah, and make sure you know your strategy and to go find those things that can get you through each day.

Lynn Lyons  31:19 

As you say that I know that I am consciously looking for things that will make me have like tears of being touched and tears of being moved. Right. I just that feeling feels good to me right now.

Robin Hutson  31:31 

We’re finding this challenging, but at least we’re going into it awake and aware of what we need to do for ourselves and already thinking about how do I talk about the outcome of the election in a way that I think is the right way for my children?

And if the outcome that I don’t want happens, I’m starting to plant a seed now to say it’ll be okay. Even though I don’t feel that way. It is important that I convey that to them.

Lynn Lyons  32:01 

Right, because they need to know their feelings of disappointment aren’t permanent, that they are loved and cherished in your home. And that this experience and this election do not define them— doesn’t define you or their positive relationships. Those are the three things you really want to keep in mind.

Robin Hutson  32:17 

We’ll have to fake it till we make it.

Lynn Lyons  32:18 

Yeah, absolutely.

Robin Hutson  32:20 

So please join the Flusterclux Facebook group. That’s Flusterclux with an x, so that you can ask your question on a future episode. And we want to let our listeners know that we are switching our schedule and we will now be dropping new episodes Friday at midnight instead of Monday at midnight. You will get a new episode after this one on October 23rd.

Lynn Lyons  32:42 

Yeah, so you guys can listen on the weekend, and Robin doesn’t have to work on the weekend.

Robin Hutson  32:47 


Lynn Lyons  32:48 

It’s a win-win.

Robin Hutson  32:49 

Can I tell you what I have a fantasy about?

Lynn Lyons  32:51 

Okay, if it’s appropriate.

Robin Hutson  32:53 

Can you imagine a Nine to Five reunion?

Lynn Lyons  32:55 

They talk about Nine to Five. So, Jane Fonda is in it, and Lily Tomlin. They’re talking about a huge chunk of it is Nine to Five. You have to watch it, Robin. You’ll love it. It’s so good.

Robin Hutson  33:05 


Lynn Lyons  33:06 

Jane Fonda has a moment in it where she’s talking about Dolly Parton that is so incredibly moving.

Robin Hutson  33:12 

Did you cry?

Lynn Lyons  33:13 

Yes, I did cry, and you will cry.

Robin Hutson  33:14 

Lynn and I cry at everything.

Lynn Lyons  33:16 

We cry when we talk about crying.

Robin Hutson  33:18 

We do!

Lynn Lyons  33:22 

Oh my gosh, did that make you cry? And then we just start crying.

Robin Hutson  33:25 

The first Christmas I spent with you all as a family once I married your brother, and we were all crying in like the first five minutes. I was like, “Okay, this is gonna be okay.”

Election Anxiety 2020 Survival Guide for Parents

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