LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.
Today’s topic: 6 ways for kids to learn about voting.
It’s election day, and although it’s not the big one scheduled for November, today’s primary, along with other ballot issues still matter — and that’s part of why kids need to know early on about this privilege. In fact, child development experts say, it’s never too early to start teaching kids about voting, election day, and why it matters.
Research has shown that starting the conversation about voting at a young age will make your kids more likely to take part on election day as adults. Plus, it also allows for children to begin to see how our lives are shaped through certain races, whether it be between candidates for an elected position or ballot measures that change how we live.
Here are 6 different ways for kids to learn about voting:
*Explain the voting process. Experts say children as young as two can begin to understand what voting is and why it’s important. You can even practice by voting for something simple, like what to eat for breakfast.
*Talk about political ads and campaign signs. Your child will likely see these ads online or while watching TV, so explain to them what they are and why they exist.
*Discuss the issues that are on the ballot. Let them clearly understand what’s being voted on.
*Let them share their opinion. At the end of the day, it’s important for children to understand how they can form their own points of view.
*Bring your child to the voting booth with you. Experts say it’ll give them a chance to feel like they’re part of the process.
*Watch and/or discuss election night results. This allows for your kids to see the winners and losers, and how certain decisions will then be made based upon the will of the people.
Experts agree, that getting to vote is special — and so using an election day or future election cycles to teach your kids why it is — will go a long way at having your child feel like he or she is part of the American way.