Talking to Children about Politics

Talking to Children about Politics

Heidi Hansen   •   November 9, 2016

How do we talk to children about the election and current political landscape?

I don't know for sure how it happened, but I was raised in a home that engaged in political discourse that valued different views, rejected personal attacks and respected one's privacy in their personal vote. More importantly however, we worshiped our creator God; "King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever" (1 Timothy 1:17). While being a responsible citizen of a nation was encouraged, membership in the Kingdom of God and faithfully living out its principals were more important. This brought relief, freedom, a call to action, and ultimately, hope. I'm so grateful for this! 

Children of all ages will have questions about the presidential election, as well as feel the emotional contexts of the circles they move in. What to do?

1. It is important for adults to express in word and deed that children are not responsible for adult's feelings and actions. 

2. Tell them you will seek God's wisdom to do what is right to both protect them and tell them the truth.

3. Ask children what they have heard, read, seen, and how they feel about it. Listen well. Correct any inaccuracies, and address fears and questions.

4. Want to take action together? Write a letter to whomever you want to address.

5. Pray together. Children need to see the adults in their lives regularly surrender to God in prayer and ask for his will to be done on earth as it is in heaven and ask him to lead them in his ways.

The following passage from Ecclesiastes has helped to put recent events into perspective for me. Sometimes Ecclesiastes reads as pretty hopeless and futile, but I have found great comfort and strength in it. Trusting God to be God, and creation to be creation has become a powerful place to find a spiritual "true north." 

"What do workers gain from their toil? I have seen the burden God has laid on the human race. 11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet[a] no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for people than to be happy and to do good while they live. 13 That each of them may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all their toil—this is the gift of God. 14 I know that everything God does will endure forever; nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it. God does it so that people will fear him." Ecclesiastes 3:9-14, NIV