# Teaching Kids About Politics

Teaching kids about politics, part 1

Election years provide many “teachable moments” for children. In 2006 my three-year-old loved coming with me to deliver yard signs. We talked about how some people like to tell everyone in the neighborhood who they are voting for, while other people like to keep that a secret. For weeks he would comment on yard signs as we drove around town. “Mommy, that person is also voting for Chet Culver!”

In 2008 both of our kids experienced the unbearable stuffiness of our precinct caucus, and while they didn’t know the campaign issues, they did understand that people standing in different corners were supporting different candidates. They also understood the goal of getting as many people as possible to stand in your group. Many of my neighbors also brought children to the caucus, and I vividly remember one family whose seven-year-old daughter wore a Hillary button and nine-year-old son wore an Obama sticker even as their mom and dad caucused for Biden and Dodd (then Edwards after realignment).

During the 2008 general election campaign, my five-year-old son got a real-world dose of pluralism when he asked his favorite baby-sitter who she was voting for, and she answered McCain. I still laugh when I remember his follow-up question: “But who are you voting for for president?” It didn’t take him long to understand that yes, Mommy and Daddy were still voting for Barack Obama, but his baby-sitter was voting for John McCain.

I’ve decided to start a diary series about the political lessons my kids learn during this year’s campaign. My first big teaching opportunity of the 2010 election happened a few weeks ago…  

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