The Busy Parent’s Guide to Talking Politics
It’s happening, Mini friends. The 2016 Presidential Election is set for Tuesday, November 8 and if you’ve had a hard time trying to talk to your kids about this momentous occasion, you may be in luck. We’ve joined forces with Kiddie Academy to bring you a checklist for teaching kids about politics and the election, what to say and how to go about helping them understand.
It’s a party. For kids accustomed to candles and balloons, the idea of a political party can be confusing. Explain how each political party is a group of people that have similar opinions who elect a leader to represent them.
Talk history. To add some perspective, investigate historical debates and issues and discuss how they are the same or different than our current version.
Pick a cause. Children can have strong opinions on local issues, especially those that may directly impact their lives, such as school or sports topics. Ask your child’s opinion about a current topic of debate.
Run for office. Most schools, including elementary schools, have some form of student government association. Encourage your child to get involved.
Give age appropriate answers. Younger children may simply want to know what an election means, in the most basic terms. Older kids will likely want more details.
Write a letter. Writing a letter to a politician is a great way to demonstrate the democratic process and the importance of sharing opinions. Most elected officials now have email addresses!
Cast your vote together. Take your kids along when you cast your vote! Set the example!
Getting your children involved in politics at such a young age may even persuade them to become politicians themselves, which will be such a huge achievement. But they have to start somewhere, and this guide is just the beginning of their journey. So, show it to them when you have the chance.
Opening Image: The White House