The Union Recorder

Top Stories

November 1, 2012

Talking to kids about elections - without bias

WASHINGTON — Election Day is less than a week away, and if you're like me and millions of other Americans, there are two words that describe your feelings: Thank God.

Imagine turning on the television without hearing about the 47 percent, moving forward, Question 7, Tim Kaine and George Allen. It's enough to make me giddy.

But as much as we might want this to be over, in these last few days of the campaign, there's a real opportunity for parents to help educate the next generation of voters.

On Saturday, I spoke at the Newseum as part of a program on talking to kids about elections. Brave parents and grandparents took time out from stocking up on bottled water and batteries ahead of Hurricane Sandy's arrival to let kids vote in a mock election, make campaign buttons and, heaven help them, hear me talk.

One boy, 12-year-old Drew, sat in the front row, looking engaged for my 30-minute presentation. I immediately liked this kid. Afterward, his grandmother approached me because Drew had an idea for a story KidsPost should do about the election but he felt too shy to suggest it.

His idea: What should a kid do when his mom wants to vote for one candidate and his dad for another? It was clear from the way the grandmother conveyed Drew's question that the red-blue divide created enough tension to make Drew uncomfortable.

This is not the first time that a lack of civility involving kids and the political process had reared its head this campaign season. My colleague Petula Dvorak wrote about a letter that a prominent Washington school sent home to parents, the gist of which was, "Tell your kids not to bully the Republicans in class."

These two incidents made me feel sad about the "teachable moment" that we parents are missing if what we impart to our kids this electoral season is that the candidate we support matters more than why we support him.

Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Guardians of the Galaxy (Trailer) Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA