Parent Survival Guide: Talking To Kids about the Elections

Updated: Nov. 2, 2020 at 9:11 PM EST
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With a short time to go until the 2020 elections and with political talk everywhere, the talk about politics has probably trickled down to your kids.

Joan Zaleski with the Charleston League of Women Voters says now is not only a great time to talk to children about voting, but also an important one.

Zaleski says “Bring children with you and let them see what the process is see all the different kinds of people coming out to vote." She says it’s good to take your children with you to the polls when you vote.

Share your beliefs with them when it comes to why you’re choosing particular candidate, Zaleski added.

“It’s important for children to understand that you have reasons why you’re choosing this particular candidate and go all the way down the ballot and show them the process of what you’re doing,” Zaleski said.

For younger children, point out election signs and bumper stickers, using them as a way to start the conversation about the elections.

For teens and those getting ready to vote for the first time, talk about rights and responsibilities of voting and about your experience the first time you voted. Also, remind them why their vote really matters.

“I know every parent has a story that they can tell their children when they voted. I would say to any young person who are the candidates who speak to your need for change or justice or need for a better world who are those candidates,” Zaleski says.

She says to teach children that voting is the duty of a good citizen and is a way to make your opinion heard.

Zaleski says also talk to them about how voting can get things changed on a local level with the school board elections, as well as elections at the state and national levels.

“Sharing with your children that you’re engaged as part of our democracy is a very important way to continue keeping our democracy going,” Zaleski said.

Children learn their voting patterns and behaviors first by their parents and Zaleski says if you vote and they grow up in a household where voting is common, children usually will model that behavior.

For more information on voting and for more background on the candidates Zaleski say to go to the vote411 website.

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