As the Lok Sabha Elections 2019 has kicked off in India, here are ways to get your children more involved in, and aware of elections and voting.
- When you drive your kids to school or at dinner table, make it a point to have elections as part of your regular family discussions. Help your children understand why you chose a particular political party over another party or one candidate over another and how these candidates address the issues concerning you.
- Ask them about the issues that bother them as children and share your thoughts on how specific candidates or political parties address those issues. Does your child love about being an entrepreneur, talk about candidates who support start-ups and initiate funding programs.
- If your child is passionate about robotics and technology, talk about how certain candidates always voice their opinion on the involvement of learning beyond classrooms and hands-on experience and initiative polices and reforms to encourage this cause.
- Tell them how ¼ of India’s population is illiterate and how can people be sure that the right candidate is voted for at the booth? Simply be recognizing the party symbols.
- 2019 Lok Sabha elections would see a sea of symbols ranging from car, ladder, hand, kite, to lotus, mango, umbrella, two leaves, book to name a few. Encourage your children to create their own symbols through doodle art for causes they believe in or curate existing symbols.
- On Election Day, take your children along while you go to vote. Some states might have certain rules, it would be a good idea to check with your local election office, if children are permitted and what are the restrictions.
- Children usually model parent’s behaviors, when they witness you casting your vote in the elections, it will help them understand the electoral process and their role in selecting the right candidate.
- When you take your children along, let them know that there might be a lot of people in queue and it might be sometime before it’s your turn. Tell them to get a toy (not a noisy one) or book along, so they don’t get bored.
- Most important: Make sure your child knows that they cannot reveal the candidates you are voting for to other people at the polling booth, no matter how excited he or she is about a particular candidate.
- Once you are in the confidential voting booth, let your children push the button, it would help her feel more like an active participant and make a long lasting impression in their mind.
- Make sure to involve your child in discussions post- voting, talk to them about how many people turned up for voting in your locality, city, and state. Watch the news with them, as the counting begins, show them how it is a very significant day – worth paying attention to and also a cause of celebration and joy.
- Encourage them to write a card congratulating the winning candidates could be a great way to let your children know that her voice counts, even if they are not old enough to go out and vote
Although your children can only vote once they turn 18, you can raise them to be responsible voters from right now.