From what we have seen so far with the primaries, this election season proves to be particularly heated and controversial. There will be talk around the dinner table and name calling on TV news programs – plenty of opportunities for kids to get an earful. And we all know that even when we don’t think they’re listening, they are. Every. Single. Word.
So how much should we share with them? How honestly do we answer their questions? What is the best way to engage them in the political process? This recent Time Magazine article shares some sage advice on how to involve your kids at different ages. The article suggests that even at the elementary school level, kids are absorbing information and we should talk with them about what they are hearing. My five-year-old son came home from preschool a few weeks ago and asked me what he had to do to become President after they talked about President’s Day at school. And so it begins.
So, my approach this year will be to answer the questions that make sense and are appropriate based on my children’s ages. Questions such as, “Are we Republicans or Democrats and why?” can wait until they are a little older. I also plan to take them with me to vote, which I believe to be a really powerful way to engage them and explain what is taking place. And they get a sticker, which is always cool.
This blog post from Momtastic is another great resource that shares some helpful advice about the best ways to talk to your kids about the election in a positive manner. We would love to hear your thoughts on this topic…do you plan to shelter your kids from the political fire storm, or involve them in the discussion?