With our presidential election less than a month away, we are bombarded with images and messages regarding who to vote for on November 6. Children can’t vote, but they do have the important right to know exactly what’s going on.
While most schools try to explain the presidential election concept to early elementary students, children as young as kindergarteners can grasp a basic understanding of this unique experience. All young students should at least know the following:
- We live in the United States of America. Our country is a democracy. One of the greatest privileges of living in a democracy is that the people get to choose their leaders.
- Our presidential election is on November 6. This is very important because Americans (over age 18) will get to select the president, who will lead and guide us for the next four years.
- Our presidential election is also important beyond the United States. Because of the size and influence of America, our president becomes a leader of the free world.
- Our president serves for a four-year term, and can only be re-elected once.
- We have two major groups of people, called “parties.” Each has selected a person to be their candidate for the presidency. The Democratic party has selected our current president, Barack Obama, to run for another four-year term as president. The Republican party has selected Mitt Romney to be their candidate for president.
- Now is the time for families to watch and listen to the candidates, and decide whom they would like to be our next leader. Then, it is the right and duty of adults to vote on November 6 for the person they want to be elected president.
Children should have a say on who they would like to see elected as president of the United States. Ask your child who he or she would vote for and why. You probably will get some interesting answers.
If possible, bring your elementary school child to the polls so they can get a glimpse of this exciting process. Let them stay up a little later on election night, to see the early results on TV.
Involving children in the suspense and drama of a presidential election will make history come alive!