Teaching My Children About Democracy

Sarah Baeumler November 08, 2016 5 Comments

Later this evening, the 45th president will be elected into office. Arguably one of the more controversial elections in America’s history, there has been an immense amount of news coverage regarding this year’s election. From Twitter rants to scandalous debates, a lot of focus has been put on the character traits of the nominees. Whether it is the candidates’ outspokenness, questionable political platforms and litigious campaign, this election has sparked outrage among many Americans across the United States.

Everyone is entitled to hold their own political view, and I’m certainly no expert on critiquing politics. However, I do think it is important to discuss the importance of elections, voting and having your voice heard. As Canadians, we have been incredibly grateful to grow up in a democratic nation, allowing us to collectively elect officials into parliament, and have a say in who runs our wonderful country.

Bryan and I both do our best to teach our children about voting, what it means and why we do it. This upcoming election in America was a great opportunity to explain to Quintyn and Charlotte that although everyone has conflicting opinions and views on who should win, you still need to do your part and vote for a candidate you believe in. Sometimes parents choose to pass down certain political beliefs to their children, or households will vote for a single political party; however, I think it’s equally important to teach our kids to form their own opinions.

Voting is a great way to take the time to educate yourself and your children about politics, each party’s leader, and their platform. Do the research, learn about the candidates and ensure what they stand for supports the beliefs and issues that are important to you. For me, voting is more than a right, it is a responsibility.

Like every parent, we try our best to set an example to our children and show them that it is important to educate themselves, make informed decisions and voice their opinions. So let’s all take a break from the drama surrounding this year’s controversial nominees and focus on educating our children on what it means to have a voice. Although time will only tell who will win this election in the United States, I am glad that I had the chance to use this election to discuss politics, democracy and voting with my children.

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Comment by: Nancy on 11/15/2016 5:02:59 PM

As an American, living in Canada for the past 29 years, it was the most difficult and controversial election I've every had to vote in. Families were divided. The country is divided. Because of this division, the country will suffer repercussions of the outcome for years to come. The best we can do for the USA and for Canada, is to pray for the countries and their leaders to make the right decisions and as citizens, we must do our part, as you say, vote! But more than vote, also write to your local MPs, trustees, Premier, heads of Ministries to get your viewpoint across.

Comment by: Mick Damphousse on 11/8/2016 10:24:38 PM

I agree with you 100% Sarah. We did the same when raising our daughter, and encouraging her to form her own opinions was paramount.