Christopher Halajian on How to Involve Children in Politics
A lot of people think children are too young to understand politics. However, if elections are happening in your local town or even across the nation, they will have picked up on it. In fact, it is hard to get away from it with today’s social media. Hence, as a parent, you should make the effort to ensure that your children really understand what is going on. Thankfully, Christopher Halajian has found that there are some great activities that you can take part in as a family to achieve that.
Christopher Halajian on Political Activities for Children
- Encourage your child to keep a journal about the elections. Let them put clippings about the different candidates and write something in their own words about what they stand for and how your chid feels about that. This journal will be wonderful to keep as a piece of history as well.
- Ask your chid lots of questions. If you are from an estate in Mattiuck or Southold, NY, for instance, ask them what they believe the biggest problems are there, and how they feel those could be resolved. Help your child to determine which candidate best promises to do those things.
- Bring your kids when you vote. The Monday before, tell them what you are going to do and how excited you are and why. This is a chance for them to see democracy in action.
- Use the internet to your advantage. Follow the route candidates take through each estate and their political websites but try to find them with an emphasis on kids. There are some fantastic resources out there to enable you to do this.
Great Political Resources for Kids
Some of the resources for kids include:
- The local police department. They can help kids to understand what pressing issues on their estate are, from drink driving to domestic violence, in a child-friendly manner.
- Time for Kids, where children can keep abreast of current events and world news, as well as playing election games.
- Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids, which is guided by Ben Franklin. There are different sections for different age groups, filled with age-appropriate activities.
- The Democracy Project on PBS Kids, which has lots of activities and shows the impact of government on those activities.
- Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President, which runs whenever there is an active presidential campaign and shows kids what has been happening on the trail. It also includes an interactive message board.
Christopher Halajian also wants to encourage parents to read to their children. There are some fantastic resources out there targeted specifically at children that they can read themselves or you can read as a family. They exist across the political landscape and Halajan feels it is important to provide an unbiased look, regardless of your own political choices. This is about encouraging your children to make up their own mind, not gathering more support for your particular party.