Talking About Politics with Your ChildrenSuzanne Broadhurst
‘Tis the season to talk politics. Then again, since decisions are being made each and every day by our representatives, every season is the season to talk politics.
Similar to parenting, our representative government consists of a few individuals making decisions for the masses. Unlike families, as citizens we get to vote for our representatives.
Children don’t get the luxury of voting for their representatives. They get something better. They get us.
Along with the responsibility of parenting children in our homes, we have the responsibility of parenting citizens of a country.
We have the right to teach children about our rights as citizens.
Talking politics with our children gives us the opportunity to explain:
- How representative government works.
- How their vote (when they are voting age) counts.
- How their opinions matter, even before they reach voting age.
- How critical thinking plays a major role in making wise voting decisions.
Practicing Political Voices
When children are taught what to think, they are rarely motivated to engage in the political process as adults.
- When children learn they will have a voice in our representative government, they will want to practice that voice in the family. They want a vote.
And on some issues, it’s wise to give them the practice:
- Do you want chicken salad or hamburgers for lunch?
- Do you want to watch TV or play a game?
Even simple decisions teach a vital lesson: We can’t have everything. There are trade-offs to every decision.
The Key to Talking Politics with Our Children
The key to talking about politics with our children is to teach them the process, offering our own opinions as an appetizer to whet their minds in the development of their own ideas.
Free printable worksheets are available on my website to help you and your children think about and talk about the upcoming presidential election.