No matter your political belief, the elections are a big deal. And chances are that your child has begun to hear or notice posters, slogans, T-shirts and even news coverage. Election Day is a great opportunity to teach kids how voting works and why it’s important for everyone to have a say when it comes to important issues like this. As parents, it’s part of our responsibilities to teach our children that voting is not just a right; it is a responsibility, and everyone must participate in it.
Here are a few tips for talking with your children about upcoming elections.
- Ask them what they have heard about the election,
- Explaining the voting process – parties, candidates, campaigns, elections, ballot boxes, manifestoes, etc. Raise a future voter by teaching children about the importance of making their voices heard.
- If your children are older, get them to research each of the candidates running for an office, then discuss what they learned about them. This is a great way to teach young people how to be critical thinkers instead of taking what they hear in commercials at face value.
- Talk about your values, what you believe and why you hold those beliefs
- Talk about candidates, what they stand for and how they want to make changes for a better future. Ask your child what things are important to them.
- Hold an election in your home. Give your kids the chance to share what made them decide to cast their vote for a specific candidate.
- Do not impose your belief on your children but let them speak about what they feel after you have explained ineptly about the electoral process.
- Talk about issues that the country is facing and how you believe each candidate plans to tackle issues. Try and do this without anger and emotion when discussing the issues.
- Let them know that even though they can’t vote now, it is okay to have a choice of candidate and can as well wear a shirt that shows where their interest lies. This is one way to make them politically conscious
- Take them with you when you go to vote to show them how the voting process works.
Our children need to know that those in power make important decisions that impact us now and in the future. Election is a fantastic time to get rid of the people who have been there for too long or not been effective in their responsibility
We need to also raise our children to understand how important it is to be a part of the process, to use their voices, to speak up about the issues that impact them, and to make sure they are backing the people and the policies that support what is important to them.
Don’t read this alone, share with other parents. Remember that if you don’t go out to vote, you are telling your child that their vote and voice doesn’t count.