Talking with Children about the Election

A Montessori student eagerly exercises his right to vote in our mock election to determine the favorite sea animal of our youngest students.

Election Day is finally here. However, it goes without saying that the language, posture, tone and interactions of this year’s presidential candidates contradict how we teach, or for that matter, even allow students to interact at Green Hedges School.

Ordinarily, election years give schools the opportunities to teach students about the democratic process and to apply election issues and critical thinking and dialog to our curriculum on this topic. Despite the negativity associated with this year’s presidential candidates, and through the course of this year’s election, the GHS faculty have again embraced opportunities (in age appropriate ways) to reinforce what we seek in our students: to be kind, to listen well, to respect the diversity of opinion, to check facts, to test assumptions, to be creative problem solvers and to participate – – as they did today in Green Hedges’ mock election. In short, we fall back on Green Hedges’ core values as well as our country’s democratic process and balance of power among multiple parties, states and branches of the federal government.

Conversations about this election, be they at home or at school, may be difficult to navigate. To that end, we have assembled the resources noted below that may be useful as you help your child make sense of the election. We join you in partnership to support the respectful behavior that is synonymous with members of the GHS Community.

Congress for Kids: Electoral College

PBS: Parent Guide to Explaining an R-Rated Presidential Election & Helping Kids Understand the Election

Momtastic: How to Talk with Your Kids About the Presidential Election (Without all the negativity)

Common Sense Media: 17 Tips to Steer Kids of All Ages Through the Political Season

USA Today: How do we talk to children about the 2016 election?