When it comes to the political process, how much do your kids understand? Do they know that not everyone in the world has the right to vote? Although your kids may be a long way from voting age, it is never too early to teach them how the political process works and what a privilege it is to live in the United States.
Here are a few things to get you started:
1. Freedom relies on widespread participation in the electoral process. If only a minority of the population casts their vote, then we are not a country with a “government of the people, by the people, for the people” (Abraham Lincoln, The Gettysburg Address).
2. Freedom speech should come with common courtesy. Civility is not a four-letter word. In the electoral process, people can disagree with respect, be wrong with integrity, and be right with humility.
3. Know the foundational documents. The Constitution and The Bill of Rights provide the foundation for this great nation. If your child is not familiar with the contents of these documents, how can they know their rights or defend them when they are threatened? Parents, we should learn them as well.
4. Think independently. Teach them to listen to both sides of the debate with an open mind. It is important for your kids to learn to gather information, process their thoughts, and formulate their own opinion – based on facts.
What questions has your child asked you about politics or the elections? How did you respond?