Who are you voting for, do you discuss it with your kids, and can a person get through a political post without calling anyone an idiot? Read on to find out…
This election may have you all torn up inside, losing respect for most of your social media “friends”, questioning yourself on what you can tolerate – what your beliefs and values actually are, or just plain wishing your life away until the day after the election, believing things will go back to normal. Some of you may prefer to not get in any discussions at all about anything political. I get that. For some reason, people think the idea of having a blog would be to give an opinion on any hot topic of the time. I know this because people have asked me if I’ve done a political post on my blog. These are people who have not read it. For you readers, you know that my purpose of this blog is more for a release of stress. Either vent here about your troubles and imperfections as you comment on my posts, or just find relief in reading things that let you know it’s not just you. Maybe just find something to watch or eat that has nothing to do with anything.
So, I had no intention of bringing politics into this mix. Why stir anything up? But, as this election season rolls on, I’ve seen that maybe there is something regarding this subject that could/should be addressed – without controversy (I think). That something is how we talk to our kids about politics. My 4 children are young. The oldest is 7. We’ve never even considered the need to discuss anything political with the children until this year, and even that is limited. Except. Other 7 year olds talk about who should or should not be President. They’ve told my son. He comes home with questions. We’ve had to ramp up the discussion a bit from simply explaining, like we have the last few years, what it means to vote, and what the President (in a nutshell) is. I thought about how there has to be a difference in how parents talk to their children about these things, depending on age, parenting style in general, and who knows what else. Because I felt any advice I could give on the subject (to readers, not my children) is limited by age of my kids, I thought I’d ask a couple of friends to give their thoughts. You will see my questions answered by 2 mothers. One liberal (Anna), one conservative (Kathy -*name has been changed). I asked them because while their views may be opposing, they had one thing in common that I thought could be helpful. They both have older (preteen and up) and younger (barely in grade school and down) kids. What I got from them was even better than I expected.
#1 Do you discuss political issues in front of kids, discuss with them, or try to avoid discussion?
Kathy: I discuss political issues in front of my children of all ages (16,14,7,4). I discuss some of the issues with the teenagers, mostly the issues that they are interested in.
Anna: We talk openly about pretty much everything in my house. My children question everything and they tend to disagree with each other so if one child sees a commercial on TV or hears about something at school they bring it straight home for discussion and debate. My family parallels todays society in there are tons of questions and very little agreements.
#2 Do you go into detail with them about what the different political issues are and what they mean?
Kathy: I answer any question the children (of any age) have about the issues we discuss at age appropriate levels. The oldest child has more detailed questions then the younger ones.