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How to Talk to Children About Politics

It’s easy to assume that children are not paying attention to politics. While it may actually be true that kids aren’t engaging the same way you are, they still take an interest. In fact, KidsHealth.org took a poll of over two thousand children and teens asking them what they thought about presidential elections and how they might be affected by them: More than three-quarters of that pool answered that the outcome of the elections would have some kind of effect on their lives.

With that in mind, it is important to start involving your children in political conversations. By doing so, you will be able to give them the foundational knowledge needed for them to be involved as they get older.

Focus on the positives

During an election, things can get heated with campaign ads and different news sources shining a light—either positively or negatively—on candidates, which is something you might not want to have your children exposed to. Instead, try seeking out the positives about the candidates and the political process. This will allow them to carve out their own opinions without being swayed by what they’re seeing in the news or online.

Have an open conversation

It is very possible that your children might have a different view or opinion on certain topics and that is perfectly fine. You want this to be an open conversation where they have a platform to express how they feel while at the same time educating them on things they might not understand too well. You want to try and talk in a neutral tone and express how beneficial it is that people have the right to vote for the candidate of their choice based on how they align with their views.

Get them involved

There are a few ways to do this. Try and help them get involved in their school’s government or even try incorporating aspects into everyday family life. For example, hold “family meetings” in order to discuss certain topics such as vacation plans. These meetings can be structured in a similar manner to Congress when they discuss laws to pass which will give your children some exposure to how the government functions. This will give them the opportunity to have a voice in things going on at home and also help them understand how the political process works.

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