With the political climate pervading social circles, and how politics seem to be the dividing point for many, when and who should discuss politics?

Though many would rather overlook political conversation among adults, most are more unwilling to explain politics to children, but politics deserve to be discussed at all ages and introduced to children when they can first understand the basics of what the government is, what politics are and how they ultimately affect a nation’s people.

Of course, when talking about politics to children, it should not be about swaying them to one opinion. Rather, the process should help them understand that people divide greatly on opinions, and that all people deserve a voice. Difference of belief is inherently what defines this country, and it’s important of children to understand that early on in their development. In primary school, children begin to grasp the idea that not all people are like them, and this can be a shocking and damaging revelation to a kid unequipped with the mindset to respect all individuals.

Because politics discuss ethics and values, children can learn to discuss the politics of certain situations – basically the ethics and values that define certain situations around them. Complicated and simple politics both revolve around different stances on ethical decisions resulting in a formed value. While children cannot grasp the full intertwining of beliefs on certain political theories, they can still understand difference of ethical value.

As it is important for families and friends to share their political ideas with one another, children need to be present too. Do not send the children off during this time. Allow them to sit with you, while talking normally to the other person without simplifying your speech, and let them listen to what you are saying. Indeed, regardless of the opinion being expressed, if both sides do this in a peaceful setting, a child will benefit from hearing this discussion.

This country desperately needs to lessen the divide. Mainly, the strong trench in our country divides us into two political parties that do not understand the other. If children grow up in a house only hearing one opinion all the time, they are not going to be able to effectively grasp different ideas. Several opinions should be shared. Allow the child to hear them all, as they will one day anyway, and let them form their own opinion.

Likewise, adults should be able to discuss politics without getting into a heated argument. Respect deserves to be met on both sides. Listening to one another and asking questions allows for both parties to understand more about the other. Beliefs may not change, but at least a learning point can be taken from every argument, and sometimes agreements can be met in the middle.

People can get too wrapped up in political wars to realize the next generation is constantly being fueled with information. Negative relationships shouldn’t be formed regarding politics; it should be seen as a growing point and a sharing of ideas between people. If we do not change how politics are dealt with in a personal setting, it is scary to think how the next generation will pave the world if they do not understand the difference of opinion and how to react in a public setting.