Introducing your Child to the General Election
Children are naturally curious beings and love to ask questions in order to better understand the world around them. Many parents will have been debating the General Election and its political leaders, promises and controversies.
Questions may have been raised and tempting as it is to brush these aside (since children are a long way off voting age) it is worthwhile making the effort to involve your child at an age appropriate level.
Why Involve Children?
Dr Amanda Gummer has previously spoken out about how it is frustrating to see that there are not enough nurseries and schools that are presenting opportunities to encourage children to learn more from the General Election such as:
- Democracy relies on having engaged citizens. By the time our children are able to vote, many will not feel their views are valued.
- By starting early and letting young children learn that both their own and other’s opinions matter, we can raise a generation who are interested in their world, believing they are valued and can make a difference.
- Learning at a young age that people can and do have differing opinions is a good way to create a better society who respect each other’s views and have a higher tolerance for those they don’t agree with.
Teaching Younger Children
Activities for younger children should be suited to their level of understanding. Something as simple as letting them make their own decisions throughout the day can make a big difference to their development.
- Ask their opinion and also question why how came to that decision so they can learn their own thought process and practice their decision making skills.
- Choose games that allow conversation to flow, let them learn to listen to other children more closely. Team games can help with communication and listening skills.
- Empower them by listening and showing them you value their opinions. Give them time to think and don’t rush choices from them. This will build their confidence in their decision making abilities and help them develop a sense of identity.
Getting Older Children Thinking
By primary school age and beyond, debating in two teams is a great way to teach children the skills they need for the future:
- Choosing a topic and deciding on their key points ‘for’ or ‘against’ it, along with backing up those opinions with evidence is a fun and light hearted way for older children to get their teeth into the basics of politics, building confidence along the way.
- They will learn to appreciate both sides to an argument, to weigh up the pros and cons, to choose for themselves. They may learn to change their opinion and see how important it is to listen to both sides before making up their mind.
- Knowing that different people have different views; that not everyone will or can agree leads to a better understanding of compromising or of respectfully disagreeing!
Helping our children learn through play and develop their skills is what Fundamentally Children does best.
Happy, confident and respectful adults grow from happy, confident and respectful children so make the effort now to practise the life skills that will create a future generation that is engaged in the world around them and proud to be a part of society.
Tags: child responsibilities, current events, general Election, learning, learning responsibilities, politics
This post was written by The Experts at Fundamentally Children