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Once you’ve read, Boomer and Halley Election Day, A Town Votes for Civic Responsibility, here are some things you can do to keep your youngster engaged in civic participation. Keep in mind that emphasizing the importance of taking action to enact change is an important message to send. A person who gets in the habit of voting when their young, tends to continue that pattern the rest of their life.
Mayor Beauregard P. Fibbs will be glad to hear that you are spreading the word!
Here are some things you can do with your kids to inspire them to be active citizens:
- Vote: It’s difficult to teach your child about the election process if you don’t vote. You should make a point to vote, and when age-appropriate, bring your children with you when you do. If you vote via absentee ballot, show your child the form and explain how important it is to make sure your vote counts.
- Don’t Talk Politics, Talk Issues: Politics can be boring for kids, and they may not have a frame of reference for it; but issues such as whether the school year should be longer or why they take standardized tests at school can be discussed easily because it’s relevant to their lives. Ask questions such as, “Do you think it’s fair that the rules are this way?” or “If you could make the rules, what would you do?” It will get them thinking and caring about democracy and their role in it.
- Connect Laws to Their Lives: Children may not have a frame of reference for how a law is passed, but they encounter government in action practically every day. When there is road construction on the way to school, it represents tax dollars being spent to improve the community. When a new playground opens or old equipment is replaced with new equipment, it can be traced back to the local government. When they see campaign signs all around during an election cycle, it’s another opportunity to explain what it’s all about.