Emphasize the Importance of Voting
Take your children to a voting center if possible or show them your mail-in ballot. Share with them the privilege we have to vote for our representatives and laws.
Share the history of voting and how so many people are still fighting for the opportunity to do so.
Depending on your child’s age and interest, you may choose to leave out the details of political parties and your affiliation. The goal is to communicate that every person has the right and responsibility to make their voice known.
It’s a mistake to believe that our children can’t understand what’s going on in broader society. Just as it is our duty as citizens to vote, it is our duty as parents to share with our children why it’s important and why we care.
Use your sample ballot to share examples about the mechanics of voting (the process, what type of information we get, how we make decisions). Depending on what’s on your local ballot, you can talk about how the people in charge of your community (mayors, council members, governors, etc.) run in races and are elected.
You can share what a law is, who writes it, and how it gets enforced (driving laws for example). You can share what taxes are and what they pay for (schools for example).
Adjust the level of conversation to be age-appropriate. The important thing is to include children in the conversation. Share with them the way democracy is supposed to work in our society. As your children mature you can introduce more complex ideas and the nuances of compromising and negotiating.
Don’t make it about partisan politics if you possibly can. Make the discussion about citizenship and our commitment to each other.
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