The municipal elections are on tomorrow and it’s important that you get out and vote.
And what, you wonder, has that to do with parenting. It matters because how we vote and who we elect can have a profound impact on our society and meeting the needs of children and families. Pay attention. What are your concerns? Who will best address them? Much as it sounds hokey, the truth is that every vote counts and every election helps determine the world we will live in and leave to our children and grandchildren.
You may choose to become informed so that you can vote intelligently. You may have chosen to get involved with the campaign of your preferred candidate. You may choose to work on election day. Whatever your choice, let the kids know what is happening.
Our children learn by watching us. When we get involved in the electoral process and let them see our involvement they grow up knowing that they have a civic duty to pay attention, to vote, to work on a campaign and possibly to eventually run for office.
On election day make sure your children know that you are going to vote. If possible, bring them along to the polling place.
This is also a great time to open the conversation about your political beliefs. Use language the kids will understand and choose topics they care about. All school-aged children care about education and today they are all aware of the environment.
Show them the campaign brochures that come into the house. Talk about them. Help them learn how to distinguish fact from political spin. I’m not talking about starting a full-blown civics lecture, but a casual awareness and mention can lead to some meaningful conversation.
If your children are teens, be prepared for a political argument. So be clear on your stand before you start this process. The average teen will love to take you on. After all, they take you on about everything else, why not politics?
Then when they are adults and making the decisions that will impact us, when we’re seniors, we are certain they are making them responsibly.