The 2022 general elections that happened two days ago bring into question the issue of talking to your child about voting. Do you talk to your children about their rights as citizens and the significance of each citizen in choosing a country’s leadership?
While voting is one of the key ways that we practice our democracy, talking to your child about voting can be hard. This is even harder when the elections become contentious. This week presents a great opportunity to teach your children how the country works and talk about the values that you think the right leader should have whether you voted or not.
If you have no idea how to talk to your child about this, here are some great tips that will help you out.
Explain to them the concept of voting and use practical lessons
Kids learn better through practice and seeing. Teach your child that voting is a way for people to make decisions and practice that concept at home. You can have the whole family vote on an issue that affects your child. For example, which movie to watch or what to eat for dinner. For the older kids, you can allow them to nominate a movie, food item, or book that they would like introduced to the ballot and give them a chance to speak to the entire family about why their choice is the best.
Tell them the importance of choosing the right leaders
Teach your children about your beliefs and what you stand for. This creates a good platform for your own choices about the traits that you look for in a leader. Ask them questions about what traits they look for when making a friend and allow them to use you as examples of what they think an adult guardian should stand for. Through this, explain why it’s important for them to choose a leader based on good leadership traits.
Talk to them about respect for other people’s choices and opinions.
For children who are still learning how to accommodate other people’s opinions and choices, explaining how an election works can be tough. This however is a fine opportunity to show your children that it is okay to be in disagreement with others as long as we learn to listen and accommodate others with respect. This should be practiced at home. Use practical examples like how it’s okay for their friend not to like a specific food for specific reasons. Even if your child likes this food, teach them that this difference should not lead to an argument or fallout with their friend. Show them the importance of apology when one loses their temper and teach them useful techniques on how to calm down when they feel angry or threatened by taking deep breaths or going to a quiet space.
Talk to them about practical issues that affect them
The bottom line is that the chosen leaders will have an impact on your child’s life. Choose a topic that is important to you and that your child can understand. The environment and climate change is a great topic because it is covered in schools as well. You can talk about a local park or playground and teach your child how the leaders elected are responsible for creating policies that destroy or preserve such places. Ask them how they feel about this and why voting is important for each person.
Encourage your children to practice democracy to understand it
This can come in when making certain decisions with their friends or siblings so they can learn more about the concept. For example. When they are picking someone to be in charge of a group project or take charge of their play group. Should that person be the smartest, fastest, or funniest? This will be a great way for them to learn that voting is the best way for everyone to have a say.
We hope these strategies can help you to talk to your child about voting
Remember to stay peaceful and respectful during this election season
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