It’s what I consider the foundation of America, of all democracies. The right, the obligation, to take part in the process. Voting. Protesting. Writing your elected representatives. Running for office. In a country where, even in the most popular presidential election in decades, only 61% of the eligible population votes, it is even more necessary that we pass on the importance of civic participation to our children.
My wife and I were raised in politically-active households. My grandfather was a county commissioner for 16 years. My in-laws are involved in a variety of special interest groups. I think as parents, it’s important that our children not only understand the importance of civic participation, but can look to us as examples.
Taking them into a polling booth, talking with them about current events, encouraging them to care about policy and how it affects them and their family; just some of the ways to teach our children the importance of exercising their rights as an American citizen.
I hope to take my children to Washington, D.C., to the Ohio Statehouse, to answer their questions about current events, to make them active participants in the civic process. Civic apathy is all to common in our country, but it starts with parents. And the earlier we can help institute these values in our children, then perhaps, just perhaps, we can create a better citizenry for the future.
My child can be Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, or independent. It doesn’t matter to me, so long as he understands the importance of participation.
And can at least hold his ground in arguments with me.