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Election/Politics Lesson with Children


snarkykitty

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If you're like me and live in the US, you're probably sick of all the political ads and discussions. It's everywhere, especially on Facebook.

I think that every person has the right to vote for whichever candidate they desire, and to voice their opinions publicly. What I do not endorse, however, is trying to trick your child into believing that the "other guy" just wants to make your life terrible.

I changed some of the details to protect the guilty, but this is what a Facebook "friend" posted today:

As we approach Halloween I am reminded of 4 years ago my then 9 yr old, "Andy", told me I should vote for Obama. On Halloween, "Andy" went to every house knocked on doors and got tons of candy. My then 5 year old, "Bobby", pooped out early and only got 1/2 the candy. After, I had the boys dump out all their candy. I gave 30% of "Andy's" candy to "Bobby". I then took candy from both boys and gave it to me because I had none. "Hey! That's not FAIR!" they said.That's right boys you just learned why I won't vote for Obama! This time around "Andy" is now 13 and said "mom make sure you vote for Romney!".

I think what irks me most is that she has simplified the differences between the two candidates in such simple terms. No candidate is "all bad" or "all good". Promoting one candidate (in this case, the current President) as a bad man who will steal your candy is just wrong and irresponsible. After a few comments, she continued to post about the evils of "redistribution" and said that she will raise her kids to believe in hard work, not handouts.

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Guest Anonymous

Evening out candy can't even be compared with making sure the poor have food! If those Romney people want to be pragmatic, the alternative to making sure people eat and can see doctors is to have dead bodies in the streets of people whose families can't afford to bury them. Who really wants to go through a country where the sights you have to see everywhere you turn is of someone on death's doorstep or another dead body? Obama's not saying let's even out the wealth so we can all have cars. It's about making sure everyone has the most basic of basics. The rich can still have their designer clothes and yachts the rest of us can't afford. But we all deserve our basic human rights.

Maybe that "friend" should do this- Have the kids make dinner while she supervises. Then sit down to dinner, but she keeps it all for herself until she decides to give them a green bean for their work. She employs them and laid out the money for the ingredients, and can explain that Romney says those who are at the top should reap all the benefits. The kids can either go to bed hungry, like Romney would have them do, or they can get enough food to not starve, which is like Obama. This is much more relevant than using candy. And to make it better, the next night let one of the other kids be the supervisor on top deciding who gets how much. They probably won't like seeing their family be hungry.

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What's the saying? Something like: First time you pay taxes you become a Republican. First time you or someone you know needs help you become a Democrat. Something like that.

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Evening out candy can't even be compared with making sure the poor have food! If those Romney people want to be pragmatic, the alternative to making sure people eat and can see doctors is to have dead bodies in the streets of people whose families can't afford to bury them. Who really wants to go through a country where the sights you have to see everywhere you turn is of someone on death's doorstep or another dead body? Obama's not saying let's even out the wealth so we can all have cars. It's about making sure everyone has the most basic of basics. The rich can still have their designer clothes and yachts the rest of us can't afford. But we all deserve our basic human rights.

Maybe that "friend" should do this- Have the kids make dinner while she supervises. Then sit down to dinner, but she keeps it all for herself until she decides to give them a green bean for their work. She employs them and laid out the money for the ingredients, and can explain that Romney says those who are at the top should reap all the benefits. The kids can either go to bed hungry, like Romney would have them do, or they can get enough food to not starve, which is like Obama. This is much more relevant than using candy. And to make it better, the next night let one of the other kids be the supervisor on top deciding who gets how much. They probably won't like seeing their family be hungry.

But that's one sure fire way to get everyone off the welfare and assistance rolls: let them starve to death. No more poor people!

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I can see using kid friendly examples to explain your politics to your children. I was 11 and in fifth grade during the 2000 election. In school we learned about the election process and the different parties and whatnot and then we had a mock election in class. Based on what we learned, the Republicans seemed pretty good, so I "voted" for Bush. When the actual election happened and Bush won, my parents were very distraught, joked about moving to Canada, etc. I didn't understand why they were so upset and they didn't make any effort to explain it. I think this lady's illustration may be overly simplistic, but it seems appropriate for a five and nine year old.

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I can see using kid friendly examples to explain your politics to your children. I was 11 and in fifth grade during the 2000 election. In school we learned about the election process and the different parties and whatnot and then we had a mock election in class. Based on what we learned, the Republicans seemed pretty good, so I "voted" for Bush. When the actual election happened and Bush won, my parents were very distraught, joked about moving to Canada, etc. I didn't understand why they were so upset and they didn't make any effort to explain it. I think this lady's illustration may be overly simplistic, but it seems appropriate for a five and nine year old.

We did the same thing at my school...but I went to such a small, liberal private school that Ralph Nader and Al Gore tied, and Bush lost by a lot

Edited because I can't spell

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except for being completely factually wrong. Romney's not talking about lowering the income tax for anybody, is he? They should have both lost a percentage (the one with half as much losing less because we have progressive income tax and then a little bit redistributed to both, under either "party", with maybe slightly more going to the "poorer" person under "Obama"

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Apart from a. it's not true and b. it's an incredibly simplistic way to explain politics, which are actually quite complex *headdesk*

I wouldn't do any of that stuff at all. I would assume that at their ages, and in the West where they have the luxury of not being forced to care, they don't give a shit about politics. (I occasionally try to indoctrinate Small, but I think it just confuses her. :lol: )

They might start caring when they get into double digits or if there's an issue in the news, at which time I will explain to them in a respectful manner what I personally think and where they can go to find out stuff and start discussions with them. I wouldn't resort to surreal acting out of situations which are at best childish attempts to explain complicated issues, and at worst a punishment for a confused child who's done nothing wrong.

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We did the same thing at my school...but I went to such a small, liberal private school that Ralph Nader and Al Gore tied, and Bush lost by a lot

Edited because I can't spell

We had a mock election in the fifth grade. Everybody in my class "voted" for Clinton. Knowing this would happen more or less in advance, I went ahead and gave a pity vote for Dole because I didn't want him to be left out :lol: Naturally, I knew better than to use this approach in an actual election.

I grew up in a liberal household and am a liberal myself, but I still have to laugh. All my staunch Democrat of a mother could do was shake her head.

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We had a mock election in the fifth grade. Everybody in my class "voted" for Clinton. Knowing this would happen more or less in advance, I went ahead and gave a pity vote for Dole because I didn't want him to be left out :lol: Naturally, I knew better than to use this approach in an actual election.

I grew up in a liberal household and am a liberal myself, but I still have to laugh. All my staunch Democrat of a mother could do was shake her head.

In our mock election in high school, we voted Communist Party. Not sure what this says about my peers, but I think it's probably excellent.

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My 10 year old has decided that she likes Obama just from what she has gleaned from news, hearing people talk politics, etc. She can cite why, too. Mainly "Romney is mean to poor people and does not want to help them! Doesn't he know people sometimes need help!?"

Of course, mama is proud she made the right choice! :D

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My 10 year old has decided that she likes Obama just from what she has gleaned from news, hearing people talk politics, etc. She can cite why, too. Mainly "Romney is mean to poor people and does not want to help them! Doesn't he know people sometimes need help!?"

Of course, mama is proud she made the right choice! :D

gotta love liberal progeny! My mom was thrilled that I'm as feminsty and liberal as I am too!

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She was 5 when he was elected. Then it was "He is our first brown president! How cool is that!"

Nice to see that she is learning a bit more and how to 'defend' her view.....as much as a 10 year old can.

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I was 8 during the 92 election and asked my mom what the difference was between the two parties. My mom is vaguely liberal, my dad a racist but otherwise liberal (he votes Republican), and mom told me that Democrats were about helping people and Republicans about helping businesses.

Obviously that's very simplistic, but I think that explanation was fair and age-appropriate.

For the record, I've been far more liberal than my parents my entire political life. I convinced my mom to vote for Gore for me in 2000 (I was 16).

Just curious, anyone have stories of parents explaining politics to them at a young age?

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I was joking with a friend recently about how somebody should dress up as Romney for Halloween and give all the children who show up to his house lectures on entitlements. The shouldn't expect candy handouts but instead should ask their parents for a loan or sell some toys if they want any.

Of course I wouldn't actually want to see that happen to a child but it would be a more accurate analogy ;)

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This wouldn't happen in our family. I'm not saying we *never* hear "She has more than me, it's not fair!" but more likely, if one niece returned from trick-or-treating with a much larger haul than the other, she'd share her surplus with her sister. If we hear "it's not fair!" it's more often from the kid with more than the kid with less. And yes, they do voluntarily offer to share with their various grown-ups as well.

Is this because we're doing something wrong as responsible adults? Or because they're naturally choosing to act like civilized (commie) individuals?

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I was joking with a friend recently about how somebody should dress up as Romney for Halloween and give all the children who show up to his house lectures on entitlements. The shouldn't expect candy handouts but instead should ask their parents for a loan or sell some toys if they want any.

Of course I wouldn't actually want to see that happen to a child but it would be a more accurate analogy ;)

My sister and her friend are dressing up as Mitt and Anne Romney for Halloween. They decided it was the scariest costume they could come up with. :lol:

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an entire generation of Minnesota kids are going to think of Republicans as people who love Michele Bachmann and hate gay people and think it's OK for gay kids to commit suicide.

They'll be lucky if they can elect a dog catcher in 20 years, if they don't turn things around.

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Well then, that explains why I am such a communist. Every Halloween, after my sister and I returned home, we had to pool our candy together and it was divided up evenly. I never saw the issue, it just made sense that we had the same amount. We also did the candy trading system as well as there were lollies she liked that I did not, and ones I liked that she did not. We also made up a bowl for our dad and both contributed to it.

Sharing is goddamn caring, ok!

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I was 8 during the 92 election and asked my mom what the difference was between the two parties. My mom is vaguely liberal, my dad a racist but otherwise liberal (he votes Republican), and mom told me that Democrats were about helping people and Republicans about helping businesses.

Obviously that's very simplistic, but I think that explanation was fair and age-appropriate.

For the record, I've been far more liberal than my parents my entire political life. I convinced my mom to vote for Gore for me in 2000 (I was 16).

Just curious, anyone have stories of parents explaining politics to them at a young age?

Yeah, although it was mostly my grandparents ;) My granddad was a staunch union man and my grandmother (Papa and Granny) used to give me left-wing children's books about the General Strike and such. They were both Labour Party members.

My dad was a supporter, an ex pacifist and a union man. He used to have me to sit up with him on election nights (which felt very rebellious! I get to stay up, wow!) and explained to me why Labour was good and the Tories were bad. He would sing the Red Flag (badly because he kept forgetting the words) every time if he thought Labour were in with a chance, which he always did, in what I know now were the teeth of the evidence. :lol:

He also used to get in the fizzy wine because he thought Labour were going to win and I was allowed half a glass when they inevitably failed miserably because "It would be a shame to waste it, now. Can toast to better luck next time". And on Thatcher's resignation he went running and dancing through the house shouting happily :) "The old bitch has gone"

I'm fairly far to my dad's left politically nowadays and he doesn't always approve. But they are some nice childhood memories :)

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I can see using kid friendly examples to explain your politics to your children. I was 11 and in fifth grade during the 2000 election. In school we learned about the election process and the different parties and whatnot and then we had a mock election in class. Based on what we learned, the Republicans seemed pretty good, so I "voted" for Bush. When the actual election happened and Bush won, my parents were very distraught, joked about moving to Canada, etc. I didn't understand why they were so upset and they didn't make any effort to explain it. I

In order for the woman's example to make better sense, she could only take from the kids one time-not twice. Also, she would have to take different amounts from each kid. The child with more candy pays 15% and the child with less candy pays 30%.

In our house, after a few days, we put all the candy in one bucket for the kids to enjoy together. I give them a couple of days to enjoy their own candy and then they have to share. Sometimes, I encourage them to give candy to neighbors because their Halloween stash lasts forever.

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