Few children were more thoroughly introduced to the then-brand-new wave of internet bullying than Chelsea Clinton, daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Though she experienced targeting by bullies while she lived in the White House, Clinton, now 38, wants to show her children there’s another way to handle people’s hatred: head on.
On The Tonight Show, Clinton told host Jimmy Fallon that she wants to set a good example for her kids:
I don’t want my children to see me ignoring it. I want them to see me engaging with radical kindness and empathy.
I already admire you, @ChelseaClinton, for the things you stand for and the grace you demonstrate when replying to trolls. I DVR'd Fallon just to see your appearance and enjoyed it immensely. I can see your parents in you. They did a great job.— Nancy Hicks (@Andie425) October 3, 2018
Most people familiar with the internet give similar advice: don’t acknowledge the trolls, it only makes them stronger. Clinton isn’t sure this is true, however, and she’s had to deal with them more than most:
I used to ignore the trolls. I used to kind of follow the ‘don’t give them oxygen, don’t feed them approach. But I think that could have been interpreted as being kind of complicit in that ugliness.
wonderful— LAIDOUDI (@YouvetLaidoudi) October 3, 2018
Clinton thinks that there are times to let a conflict go, and other times when one must stand up for themself:
I can’t respond to all of it because that would consume every minute of every day — and maybe part of my soul. But I do think it’s important to respond to some of it and to show that this is not OK
Clinton was appearing on The Tonight Show to plug her new book, “Start Now! You Can Make a Difference.” The book, aimed at children, talks about how even young people can change their world for the better:
I had to kind of tell stories about 6-, 7- and 8-year-olds who are making a difference. It tackles some of the questions that I was concerned about at that age.
.@ChelseaClinton is encouraging children to make a difference in their communities. The best-selling author and former first daughter's latest book, "Start Now! You Can Make a Difference," teaches young people how to create change.— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) October 3, 2018
Chelsea Clinton joins us: pic.twitter.com/UsW3ivwZb3
If you want to see an amazing example of positivity and ‘taking the high road’, follow @ChelseaClinton. She is clearly an Inspirational role model and makes me proud to be a Democrat. Well Done Chelsea, Well Done.— David Grigsby (@bikecoachdave) October 3, 2018
Just ordered. Going to use with my Girl Scout troop! Thank you! #startnow— Anonymous White House Official (@jennym412) October 2, 2018
Buying one for my nieces now!— Hyatt (@Hyatt_200) October 2, 2018
Hopefully, there’s a story inside about how to deal with online bullies because Clinton seems to have some sage advice on the matter!