With the impending Presidential election and the Democratic National Convention coming to Philadelphia, it is nearly impossible to avoid the topic of politics. It may be even harder trying to avoid the topic of politics with your children. So, my advice is to talk to your child(ren) about this Presidential election. Be open with them and turn this election into a teaching moment.
- Let them watch
Yes, you heard me correctly; let them watch the debates, interviews and news with you. Believe it or not, your child will turn eighteen one day and be able to vote too. Starting them off with a solid foundation of knowledge in politics will only help them in the future.
- Talk more about issues and less about the candidates
It is hard not to talk about the candidates because we all have our opinions on them. Keep in mind that talking about whom you like and dislike will only bias your children. Instead, talk about issues and policies that mean something to your family. Informing your child about current gun policies, immigration laws and the economy is important information that they may not receive in the classroom.
- Let your children form their own opinions
Just like politics, disagreement can and will happen, even in the household. If your child decides to root for another candidate, do not scold them on why or how they’re wrong. Instead, have a dialogue on why they have chosen that candidate. Was it something they saw on an untrustworthy social media account? Or were they reading the news? Evaluate if the information presented is credible. This could be another great teaching moment for you and your child.
- Set up a mock-election in your home
Students learn best through play. One week set up a fake election. Choose a topic (what meal to cook on Friday, what movie to watch on movie night...etc.) and run with it. Have your children create signs, make a voting booth, write speeches on the options, and engage in healthy debate stating the pros, cons and why. At the end of the week, have every member in the household vote. An inside-look on the voting and election process will give your child a clearer understanding.
Even though your children cannot vote just yet, they will someday, so it is important that they start becoming informed. Show your kids the importance of voting and they will grow up knowing that every vote counts!
If your child wants to dive deeper into the world of politics next summer, JKCP offers a remarkable program specializing in International Affairs and Leadership. Learn more today!