Talking to Tweens About Politics

Photo credit: youtube.comAlthough students give speeches and made promises, the vote in her class room boiled down to who had the most amount of friends and least amount of enemies.

Perhaps that is all it can be in 5th grade but as adults voting on the leader of our nation, our vote can’t be cast because we think one candidate is better looking or gives better speeches than the other.

What better time to start explaining this to kids than during the tween years?  This is the time when kids start to form their opinions.  It could be as simple as prefering basketball over soccer or as complex as developing empathy for the poor.

Parents are responsible for helping tweens develop healthy ideas of the world around them.  These opinions and beliefs will one day guide their voting decisions.  So why not start the conversation now.

Here are a few ideas that I’ll be using and you can use on your tween as the presidential race heats up:

  • Answer their questions.  While they’re not as inquisitive as their former 3 year old selves, tweens want to know what is going on.  Let them ask you questions about the upcoming election or how the political process works.
  • Watch the debates.  The first debate is slated for October 3rd.  Allow your tween to watch some of it with you.  Make it a family moment and talk about it afterwards.
  • Don’t judge.  Adults don’t always agree on issues and it may be no different with your tween.  Allowing for differences is healthy.
  • Go to the polls.  Take your tween with you when you go.  Explain to them what goes on and why its important to vote.
  • Let them vote!  Scholastic has been hosting a kids election since 1940.  They claim that kids have picked the correct president with only two exceptions.  Their elections page also has great coverage and lots of information.

Helping our tweens become involved citizens is one of the greatest gifts we can give them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *