The children of today are the politicians, legislators, lawyers, and voters of tomorrow. It’s crucial that they begin to understand the importance of paying attention to local and national issues. Unfortunately, most youth check out the minute politics and national affairs are discussed. How do we get the youth of today involved in current affairs in a way that will garner their interest?
Give Them Reasons to Ask Why
If there is anything that children are famous for, it’s asking the age-old question of “Why?” When it comes to matters that involve relevant social and political issues, urge them to ask! For instance, when you are filing your taxes, and they ask what you are doing, explain it. Naturally, they’ll likely ask what taxes are and why you have to file them. This provides a gateway to discussing matters of government taxation in a way that they can understand. Remember to discuss topics in a more general, big-picture context. It might help to spark their curiosity and at least get them thinking about it as they grow older.
Help Them Understand the Power of One
Many young people don’t vote because they feel that their vote won’t make a difference. This is a dangerous way of thinking, as it leads to complacency on important issues. Children begin to learn about structures of government in grade school. They are taught how laws are made and how elected representatives are situated. Around this time, you can being having conversations with them about how elections work and why it is important to vote. Give them the knowledge they will need in order to understand their roles in the democratic process as future voters. As they understand where their voice counts and why involvement matters, the desire to speak up will be greater.
Get Involved Yourself
Leading by example is one of the best ways to help children learn. If you can spare time in your schedule, get involved in local issues. Attend a town hall meeting. Look for fundraisers to join and organize. Experts at Strategic Campaign Group say fundraising campaigns have raised millions of dollars for political candidates and organizations all over the nation. Let your children watch and listen as you participate. Find the line between expressing your opinions and viewpoints and allowing your child to develop their own outlook. Discuss and support no matter what you agree or disagree on. It’s important for them to see your dedication to the things you care about in order for them to find the passion themselves.
It’s certainly not easy to interest children in dry topics dealing with financial and social issues when there are a million things they’d rather do instead. Help them understand the importance of those topics in a general way that relates directly to their future. Share your own viewpoints and beliefs, but give them the encouragement to think for themselves and develop their own insights. As they understand the role they play in the future, they will have an awareness that can have an impact and be life changing.