Teaching Our Kids the Importance of Voting

23 Oct

With Election Day 2012 a little over two weeks away, many children are hearing many things on TV, radio, billboards, and newspapers from those seeking public office, whether it be Local / Municipal, State, or Federal, many young children will have questions you will have to answer.

Discussing politics is a complex matter for adults, let alone children; so the question becomes “How do I help my child understand the election process in simple terms?”

I think much depends on the age and interest in the subject of the child. For older children, I suggest having them watch the debates on tv, or, after they see or hear a political ad ask them “what do you think of this ad?” to get the conversation started. As a parent, it is important to listen to what your children have to say on this subject, and not to belittle their opinions. Also, let them form their own opinions, and try not to force your views on them. I’m sure we all have had some relative that at some point tried to tell us what to do and we resented them for it.

As for younger children, there are books you can buy that can teach them in simple terms about the election process. On Election Day, take them with you to vote. Have them help you pull the lever for your family’s candidate and make sure they get an “I voted” sticker from an election official when leaving (if they are available ). On election  night, make it a party, put out snacks, invite people over so the little ones associate voting with something fun.

Most importantly, tell them about the importance of voting and making your voice heard! Below is an article that also provides some tips that are helpful. Happy voting!

http://www.phoenix.edu/colleges_divisions/education/articles/2010/10/teachers-keep-democracy-alive-by-teaching-kids-about-voting.html

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