The elections are heating up and people are more divided than any other time in our lives. Still, teenagers seem more concerned about Call of Duty and Instagram posts than the direction of the nation. This election season is a great opportunity to get them interested in the election process. The following are 7 ways to poke your child’s interest in the 2016 elections.
Talk about (what matters to them)
- More Freedom.
All major political parties give the impression that you will have more rights or freedoms if you go with their party. Whether it is from having “less government” or rights to “choose” what you do with your body, there is endless material to get them engaged. Giving hypothetical examples that relate to them or their friends would certainly bring the issues closer to home.
- Breaking the “Pointless” Rules
Every year, there are candidates who want to bring back rules or get rid of outdated rules. Some states are looking at what substances should be legal or illegal. Others are looking at changing the age for driving, using alcohol, and voting.
- Having more money in their pocket
Affording to move out, being able to pay back school loans, taxing your summer jobs, “free” internships, pay differences between men and women, and money taken from parents, means less money for them.
- Improving their Climate. Climate change affects the young people most of all. Choices made now will impact them later. Highlight the fact that though young people understand the importance of the environment, the candidate they choose will impact how the environment is treated going forward. Though they may be procrastinators, picking the “right” candidate can help do the work for them.
Also (it is very important to)
- Reach them where they “hang.” Text them links to Instagram or Buzzfeed posts where candidates make efforts to appeal to young people. Candidates are seeing America’s youth as an important and untapped market.
- Become a Super Model. You can model for them how to engage in the election process. They may be teens, but they are STILL watching what you do. You can conduct a voter registration drive with them, host a debate-watching party at your home, or work with them to develop a voter guide for the issues they care about most.
- … and Listen. It may be difficult, but it’s important to validate their political opinions, allowing them to grow and learn, especially if you disagree. If you shut them down or harshly dispute, you may lose an opportunity to turn them on to politics and lose your potential influence in your discussions.
There is still time to get your teen on board with this 2016 election year. Experimenting with these 7 tips is sure to encourage them to think about elections, increase their knowledge, and realize their impact on the process. For more relationship tips whether it is with your children or your partner, sign up for our e-mail newsletter. www.drPaulDePompo.com