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Explaining election to the kids

(33 Posts)
RandomHouseRules Sat 29-Apr-17 00:37:03

Have you talked to your kids about the election? We are quite politically interested so are talking about it a bit and my older one is taking a bit of an interest and starting to understand the concepts, but i'd like to explain more to the younger one (4yo). Any advice on how best to do this? We have been talking about blue teams and red teams but not sure we make any sense!!

tldr Sat 29-Apr-17 00:38:28

Here we've gone with 'we're picking who gets to be in charge'.

ExplodedCloud Sat 29-Apr-17 00:46:36

Oh I did teams too. Both dc have been with me in voting booths. We live in a constituency that means I effectively have no vote but they know I'm very involved. DD is definitely leaning my way!

Ladyvird135 Fri 05-May-17 13:23:11

The country is broken up in to lots of little bits. People vote for who they want to be the boss in their little bit. The bosses (introduce word MP) are in the blue team, yellow team, or the red team. Each team believes different things about money, people and how to be in charge. Whichever team wins the most little bits gets to be in charge of the whole thing.

A slightly watered down version of what I told some year 3s.

YouAndMeAreGoingToFallOut Sat 06-May-17 19:44:34

Maybe a book like this would be helpful?

whizzlepuff Fri 26-May-17 20:22:32

With my 3.5yo we've explained that grown ups get to choose who becomes the boss of the whole country when we vote. There are different parties, each with a colour and their own boss who are all competing to get the most votes, but only one can be the winner. And that person gets to be the overall boss. She's pretty interested in it but that's about as detailed as I've managed to make it at the moment! She's quite taken with the idea they each have a colour - she asked if there was a purple party and I said yes but not many people like them grin

PeppaIsMyHero Fri 26-May-17 20:55:06

I explained it to DS that it would be like all the kids voting to decide who would be the headteacher of his school. The people who want to do the job would have to tell everyone what kind of rules they would have and then every person would get one vote, but everyone has to accept the majority decision. I also take him with me when I vote and explain what you do.

redshoeblueshoe Sun 28-May-17 00:09:38

I thought you were talking about a slightly older child.
At 4 - no just go to the park.
At 7/8 the school does it - sorted grin

quizqueen Sun 28-May-17 00:13:23

So indoctrination starts at a very young age in your house, whizzlepuff. How about saying that different people have different ideas about what they consider is best for our country and when she is older she can listen to all the arguments and make up her own mind and that is called democracy!

Cherryflamingo Sun 28-May-17 00:18:40

Don't be ridiculous quizqueen. Suggesting to a child that not many people vote for UKIP is hardly indoctrination, it's a fact. Remind me how many MPs they have again?

ludothedog Sun 28-May-17 00:26:43

DD is 7 so can handle a little bit more of an explanation:
Conservative - Blue: takes care of the money
Labour - Red: takes care of everybody
SNP: Wants Scotland to be an independent country
Green: takes care of the planet and the animals

So far she is going for the Greens who look after puppies, kittens, unicorns and fairies. Seems fair enough to me! However she likes Theresa May cause she's a woman and doesn't like Trump because his name means farts. Seems fair enough to me!

HeyHoThereYouGo657 Sun 28-May-17 11:16:08

Why would you need to explain to a 3 year old for gods sakes ?!?!

sleepingdragons Sun 28-May-17 14:43:51

I explain to my 8 year old that we're voting for who gets to run the country and the Tories are the reason his school have had to cancel his extra maths classes and they have no money to buy new paper and scissors.

Not sure what I'll say to my 4yo, it hasn't come up yet. Probably something simple about red blue and yellow teams and choosing who gets to make the decisions.

sleepingdragons Sun 28-May-17 14:47:55

quizqueen that's all very well, but we've gone beyond the point of different people have different ideas about what they consider is best for our country IMO.

When the policies of one of the parties are having such a negative impact on my DC's current school experience - not to mention the potential impact on his future (can I expect to be able to afford uni if the Tories stay in power? I doubt it).
then I think they have a right to know who's doing it to them.

WidowWadman Sun 28-May-17 14:49:41

Our kids have always come along to go voting with us. My 8 year old is studying election leaflets that come through the door with interest and asks questions, my 6 year old doesn't really pay much attention yet.

sleepingdragons Sun 28-May-17 21:26:47

My 8 year old was outrages by the Tory leaflet!
I can't remember what it said but he was having none of it <proud> grin

scaryclown Mon 29-May-17 00:20:53

I say 'if you want to be rich, you vote Conservative, and really really wish that by doing so, somehow a rich posh uncle will materialise and give you some land and a time machine so you can say you went to public school'
If you want people who work for nothing so that companies can be rich, to at least have a house and food and basic clothes so they can at least stay alive, vote Labour
If you want nothing to happen ever, vote for the greens, liberals, monster raving loony party, or UKIP. They'll never win, and they'll never do anything they would like to do because they will never have any power.

When they get older I explain that sometimes a small party might keep the party you don't want out of an area and so you might want to vote for them to make sure the one out of labour or conservative you don't like finds it harder to win, but if that candidate wins they will have no influence other than damaging the party you don't want.

redshoeblueshoe Mon 29-May-17 01:02:41

I'm going to follow Ludo - unicorns yay grin

MinkowskisButterfly Mon 29-May-17 01:52:27

I took her to the polling station with me for the locals and her current (100+ times per day) phrase is "watcha doin' Mummy?" So answered similar to tldr - but she is only two! Not a lot of explanation is required yet!

BroomstickOfLove Mon 29-May-17 08:34:16

i am probably outing myself to anyone who knows me in real life, but we have a dinner election. I make ballot papers offering a choice of fun dinners (it was pizza or fish and chips for the Brexit referendum) and they go into a little booth to fill in the ballot and they post it into the ballot box. I am the returning officer who counts up the votes and announces the dinner result.

NeverEverAnythingEver Mon 29-May-17 09:03:54

Broomstick What if there is the same number of votes for each dinner? << Taking analogy too seriously ... >>

peppatax Mon 29-May-17 09:12:53

Wow, never even thought about telling DC this unless they specifically asked. It's one thing telling slightly older children (>7) about these things but why on earth would younger children need to know? Just let them be children and live in blissful ignorance of real life for a few years!!

sleepingdragons Mon 29-May-17 09:21:46

peppatax because it's interesting? Because they enjoy learning about the world and - when they're small - especially about what mummy's doing. Because it's a good basis for exploring ideas like how we make decisions and cooperation, in an age appropriate way. Because it lays the foundations for being informed about current affairs when they're older.

How does learning about the world stop children being "innocent"? What a bizarre idea!

Isabella70 Mon 29-May-17 09:28:19

Well, when a man and a woman love each other very much sometimes the man gets a warm feeling in his tummy…

Oh you wrote 'elections'.

peppatax Mon 29-May-17 09:35:47

Isabella70 grin

I didn't say learning about the world stopped children being innocent sleepingdragons but I just don't see the point in over-explaining politics/religion/current affairs etc. to 3/4/5/6 year olds. My parents didn't and I'm not missing a foundation in being informed about current affairs - in fact I'd argue that telling your 8 year old that the Tories are the reason the school can't buy new papers or scissors is a far more damaging approach as you are inherently biasing him at a young age.

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