Monday, November 03, 2008

Election for Kids

I was reading some stuff online the other day about schools having kids vote in the presidential election. The part that disturbed me the most about having young children vote is that they have no way of comprehending the issues because they're so young. So I thought of having a mock election with issues that the kids can relate to, and showing them that probably you won't agree with every issue and will have to make a hard choice and compromise sometimes. Here's what I came up with- maybe all our kids could vote tomorrow on this one and we can see how it all works. Whoever wants to participate is welcome. Here are the two candidates:

Mrs. Smith
Allows 2 pieces of candy after every meal
Makes children go to sleep at 7:30 pm every night
Favorite color is pink
Makes you clean your room every day
Takes children to the park every day

Mrs. Clark
Never allows candy in the house
Lets children stay up as late as they want to
Favorite color is blue
Lets children make messes and rarely clean up
Doesn't take children to the park very often at all

The way to participate is simple: have your kids each decide on a candidate and vote by Tuesday evening. We'll tally the votes. Hopefully this can help you explain to your children about elections and candidates without confusing them with grownup issues.


BP said...

I always thought school elections were goofy!

This is a great idea. Good thinking!

Lady Arden said...

We had election voting when I was in school, and while I distinctly remembering being clueless about issues (I was still struggling with how I could live in a democracy and yet have a choice to be a democrat or republican since we didn't live in a republic -I believe I was in 2nd grade). I just voted how I heard my parents talk, I did come away with the impression of civic duty that voting is important.

Kids get to vote for some things already in school -prom queen, class president.. but these don't always teach about the civic responsibility as they are usually popularity contests. Maybe a better way to show civic duty is to teach about voting in local elections, not just the presidency?

Angela O. said...

D chose Mrs. Clark. Big issue for D - Mrs. Clark lets kids stay up as late as they want to.

BP said...

Caleb chose Mrs. Smith. His reason was going to the park everyday.

After I was reading him the colors I wondered if he would change b/c he said Daddy likes blue but he said Smith.

Angela O. said...

D later came up with a compromise. "Maybe we can let the kids stay up as late as they want to, go to the park on Tuesdays and Fridays and have 1 piece of candy after every meal." lol! Too bad the rest of the world cannot think of compromises more often.