Voting is important – we all know this! Even our favorite celebrities are getting in on it now, encouraging us with voting themed merch and social media promotions. But when you think that everyone has only been able to vote for 57 years? (That’s right, only white women won the right to vote with the passage of the 19th amendment in 1920. The 1965 Voting Rights Act outlawed discriminatory voting practices.) It becomes a little clearer how important it is that the next generation learn to use their voices even before they turn 18 and can register to vote.
We cannot blame young voters for being uninterested if we don’t give them a chance to form opinions on the things that are happening in the world. Discuss, in an age-appropriate way, what’s going on in the world. Ask them what they care about and offer suggestions for getting involved. Maybe they want to march in a protest, and you can teach them how to be safe. Perhaps they want to donate their allowance to someone in need. Caring is activism. I was really into animals as a child, so I once had a World Bird Sanctuary birthday party – I asked for donations from their list instead of gifts, and they sent an employee with an owl! It was so cool – and I was never sad I didn’t get gifts that year.
Encourage your children to have opinions, and more importantly, to change their mind when they get more or better information. This is the most difficult and vital lesson we can teach the next generation – heck, it’s hard for us as adults! But we keep trying. And maybe take your child when you go to vote, show them the process and speak with pride how you did your research and made your selections – they’ll remember it!
Do you talk about voting and activism with your little ones? Where would you start? Share your ideas with us!
Originally posted on kivity.com on November 14th, 2022