My husband and I are pretty open with our children, ages 8 and 10, about the world around us and the upcoming election.
Being in the news business, I am particularly aware and often discuss with my children how I feel certain about an issue, candidate or someone who currently holds a public office. I frequently listen to news on the radio and allow my children to ask questions about what they hear. It is how they learn. And I would rather I explain it than someone else.
That is also how my parents were with my brothers and me growing up. I remember when President Richard Nixon resigned. I remember the Watergate scandal, I remember the hostage crisis. I remember it because my mother put on the news and explained it to us.
Now that we are in full presidential election time and Virginia is a swing state, both my daughters have taken an interest. They have seen the commercials, seen the signs and the mailings. When they ask me who I am voting for, I am honest, especially when they want to know why. I am not so much trying to sway them for their future election decisions, but rather let them know I care about our country. I care therefore I vote and stay informed.
Recently, Charlotte, my always opinonated-10-year-old made some very ugly remarks about the candidate I am not voting for. I quickly corrected her words. She seemed surprised and said “I thought you did not like him?” “I am not voting for him,” I answered. “But saying those things about him is not good. It is not how we speak of anyone. He is still a smart man, but I don’t think he can do the job as well as the other guy,” I said.
I feel I was teaching her to be respectful when politics are involved. I want her to have an opinion, but rather one that favors who she feels is the best candidate not against the person who she feels is not the best one for the job.
This is getting loss in our society today. I hope I can restore that notion with my children and perhaps, it will get passed along.