How to Talk to Your Kids About Politics and the 2020 Election
They say never to talk about money or politics at the dinner table, but what if that conversation is with your kids? The political climate has never seemed as tense as it is now. Regardless of your beliefs, stances, or political party preference, talking about politics with your kids has never been more important.
On a recent drive, my daughter noticed a billboard urging voters to “Vote Now”. Being the curious 8-year-old that she is, she quickly asked, “Is everyone required to vote?” I explained that while voting isn’t a requirement, it is our right, and it’s a privilege we should exercise whenever possible because ensuring our voices are heard is essential to a thriving country and community.
With the 2020 election just around the corner, it’s no time to hold back, especially with your children. Below are a few tips on how to talk to your kids about politics and the 2020 election.
Make references they’ll understand
When talking to kids about politics and the upcoming election, remember who your audience is. Understand your child’s mindset and be prepared to simplify topics that tend to be difficult to comprehend. When I recently had the “election talk” with my daughter, I used a lot of references and connections she would understand as a 3rd grader. It might sound silly to you, but it’ll make a lot more sense to them.
Reinstate the importance of being informed
According to studies, fake news travels six times faster than real news on Twitter. As a parent, this is a terrifying and eye-opening statistic that reminds me to always do my research. Teaching this to our children is just as important since they’re the next generation of social media users and news consumers. Talk about the difference in news outlets and explain why and how they’re all different.
Talk about values
Our values are a driving force in our everyday lives. They’re both motivation and boundaries that keep us from steering away from our purpose and beliefs. When talking about the 2020 election (and all elections after this one), make sure to talk about the importance of values. Voting for leaders, laws, and propositions that reflect those values makes it easier to make those tough decisions.
Let them form their own opinions
As the passionate and protective parents that we are, we tend to want to control what our kids believe. However, allowing your kids to form their own opinions is a great way to teach independence and their freedom as individuals. Not shoving your opinions down their throat is essential. If they’re old enough to carry on a conversation, they’re probably old enough to form their own educated opinions.