With the elections over we can all relax and answer the phone again. The Democrats have come on strong and we now face an interesting prospect watching them (especially Nancy Pelosi!) work with President Bush. Just prior to the election I had interesting discussions with my kids about some of the candidates and the many amendments that would be on my ballot. I tend to be a middle-of-the-road person so I thought I did a pretty good job explaining the pros and cons. With my fourth grader and her friend I had to explain what it meant to be a Republican or Democrat. They decided there were good points about each side. With the amendments I had to play the devil’s advocate to get the kids thinking beyond what their first instincts were.
If you can explain evenhandedly the pros and cons of issues or candidates, you do a valuable service to your kids by teaching them to think things through thoroughly. I think it is also important to explain to them that they ought to take everything they read or hear with a grain of salt. This certainly holds true for political ads!