With the presidential election just 13 days away, we’ve had to reclaim the TV from our kids to watch the debates. They’re well aware of the campaign battle as it has played out in the media and in casual conversation. Because this election year has been so dramatic, they’ve been interested in the candidates. My kids continue to have questions, concerns and strong opinions.
After witnessing the historical election and re-election of Barack Obama, my 11-year-old daughter is particularly eager to witness the election of the first American female president if Hillary Clinton wins. Although last week somewhat outraged my daughter said, “But, I wanted to be the first female president!”
My 8-year-old son has been going around for months telling family, friends, and on occasion, strangers, that if Donald Trump wins, “We’re moving to Canada to live with Grandma.” My mother told me that he already made arrangements with her.
Here are some of the questions and opinions my kids and maybe others have had during this campaign season:
“Did Hillary really do that?”
“Is she really a liar?”
“Why does Donald Trump hate Mexicans and Muslims?”
“Does Donald Trump hate women?”
“What’s going to happen if he wins?”
“I agree that we should make bridges and not walls.”
“Other countries will think that everyone in America is like that.”
These have been tough questions to answer and at times I’ve been stumped. Just like us grownups, kids are trying to process the endless sound bites and commentary - maybe even more so.
Nickelodeon offers an outlet for kids to learn more about the candidates ask questions about the electoral process http://www.kidspickthepresident.com/#candidates. They have even designated a day for kids to submit their vote for who they’d like to see as president – October 28th.
We all have to wait and see who will be the next president on November 8th. Nonetheless, this presidential race has provided endless conversation starters. This election has been hard fought. A lot is at stake and kids are watching, listening, and forming opinions. Hopefully it has ignited the younger generation to become leaders and to one day maybe become president.
Here are some more election related books for kids:
Carol Higgins-Lawrence wrote her first story at the age of five. Her father paid her a quarter for it and she's been writing ever since. She's taken a variety of courses in writing for children. Multicultural perspectives are of particular interest to her. Carol is of Jamaican descent and was born and raised in Canada. She has a BA in Communications and Sociology and she has completed coursework towards a MA in TESOL. She has worked as a literacy educator for the past 15 years. She currently lives in Brooklyn, NY with her husband and two young children. You can visit her website at carolhl.weebly.com
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