What lawmakers tell their kids about the shutdown

She added, “[A small group of people are] asking for unreasonable and unclear demands. They first started out by wanting to repeal ObamaCare, then they wanted to defund ObamaCare. Now they want reductions in spending, and they keep moving the goal posts, and it’s no way to negotiate.”

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Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who has four young children, says he frames the shutdown in these terms to his brood: “We’re having an argument about important issues about the future in this country, and we need to settle them or they’re going to inherit a country that’s diminished economically and a country where the American Dream is going to be harder to achieve.”

Mom and grandmother Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) keeps her words of wisdom to parents of kiddos short and sweet, saying, “I think the shutdown is irresponsible, and it’s reckless, and it’s time for people to work together to address it.”

Sen. Jeff Flake says he doesn’t have to do much explaining to his 15-year-old and 13-year-old because “they understand it pretty well, frankly.” But the Arizona Republican does offer perhaps the simplest advice to parents about how to explain what’s going on in Washington: “Sometimes you have a dysfunctional Congress that can’t get it done.”