Explaining politics to young children can prove difficult — even when one of the candidates for president hasn't been caught on tape bragging about groping women. But Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump's rhetoric provides a unique set of challenges for parents.
Derek Steele rose to the challenge with a letter to his two young sons — ages 4 and 7 — in a Facebook post that called out Trump's words for what they are.
Steele's post was a response to Trump ally and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Giuliani — defending Trump to Jake Tapper on CNN's "State of the Union" — said, "The fact is men, at times, talk like that."
"Not all men," Giuliani added, according to Politico. "I'm not justifying it."
Steele — a Michigan father of three — suggested that Giuliani's defense was based on a warped view of masculinity.
"Real men don't do that and wouldn't even think to say that," Steele wrote.
Trump's comments shouldn't be normalized, but some people write off sexist, violent rhetoric as normal male behavior, Steele said.
But Steele encouraged his sons to reject that view: "Forget about machoism and sexual conquest."
"Real men" treat women with respect and don't endorse sexist stereotypes, Steele said.
They change diapers, admit mistakes, and aren't afraid to be emotionally vulnerable, Steele told his sons.
Steele told his sons that they will meet people who justify sexism and sexual violence and that they have a responsibility to speak out when they do.
The Trump tape is forcing other parents and teachers to deal with the fallout among impressionable children.
"Because of the 'Access Hollywood' tape, the possibility of students using profanity or using vulgar language in the classroom — because they have seen a presidential candidate use it — is now much greater," eighth-grade civics teacher George Cassutto told Politico in a story about how teachers are dealing with Trump's 2005 comments in class discussions and assignments on the election.
"And so I will have to address that behavior, because they are simply doing what they've seen modeled by adults," Cassutto added. "That's the next scenario that I will have to deal with. The bottom line in my class is respect: Respect each other, even if we disagree. Now I feel I’m out on a limb. If someone starts talking about the 'Access Hollywood' tape, how do we show that same level of respect, especially to our female classmates and the women in our lives?"