Btw, reading on the Slate is an interesting story by Emily Bazelon on Halloween experiment on Voting preferences of 551 kids. Yale economist Dean Karlan had a way to set up a big McCain sign and a life-size cutout of the candidate on one side of his porch, and a big Obama sign and the corresponding cutout on the other. A squad of graduate students sat behind two tables, recording the kids' ages, genders, and responses. 78% of Kids chose Obama. What is more interesting is that Karlan and his minions asked a group of children a different question, "You can get two pieces of candy from the Obama table or four pieces of candy from the McCain table. Which do you prefer?" A boy picked up his choice for more candies! Read more on this on Slate here.
Now, what I feel is 'How much do children know about Politics? How do parents or teachers make children aware of the candidates and who is a right choice? Well, in our town, ask a child and he's blank on such Political scenario. Ask to vote, and the choice comes - who is the least corrupt of the Candidates and you can cast your vote to him! Most of the children find it too tough to understand Civics which is almost a fast read-learn lesson in the classroom.
Political preference is one domain where parents views do matter. They influence kids which have a lasting effect as they grow up. If you call a Politician corrupt in front of a child, he is going to carry the impression and fail to offer his choice. Childhood innocence do not last long as children grow to learn values and make their own choice and decisions. However, here are simple steps to guide Children and make them know on politics and elections:
1. Keep them simply informed by simply talking to them on the current political scenario.
2. Do not criticize or make weird comments showing your mind. Instead, discuss the candidates, parties and what the present country needs.
3. Seek to proper television channels or websites to find sources as you may not be well aware of what to kid appropriate source. Surf with keywords 'teaching children about politics' in Kidsfreesouls Search here.
4. Watch Television together. Make it interactive and inform of current affairs and global issues. Ask or reply to questions in a simple manner.
5. Read newspapers and magazines. Let kids explore interesting cartoons on politics and explain them. Make the child know about the news piece and help him read political news.
6. Discuss. A major influence is a parent who interacts with the kid on politics. Talk about Administration that begins with home leading to countries. How do leaders manage and what it means for the nation.
7. Talk to Teachers and find what they are discussing about Politics in the class. Encourage making Posters and encourage, polite, open and honest debate.
8. Support content. Provide news, magazines, websites that teach on politics. Take them to Libraries or Museums. Watch documentaries or read on leaders.
9. Don't let the child be overwhelmed during Election. Most of the television, newspapers or people speak Politics and talk of parties - Be cautious. Kids can be overwhelmed and anxious to happenings around. Take a break. Switch off the continuous bombarding of politics.
Lastly, teach a child to absorb. All that glitters is not gold. Politicians are human beings and can break promises, say lies too or be corrupt. It is values to imbibe and hope brings in rays of sunshine.
Kids polish their research skills and increase their political knowledge. They will be informed voters in time to come when they grow up and be responsible, powerful leaders in their life - be in profession or politics, why not?
- ilaxi patel
Newspaper for kids