Kids and Politics: The Presidential Debates

The Presidential Debates- An Educational

In this house, we LOVE election season (except sometimes on Facebook!).  We had a great time watching the first GOP debate last month (definitely the most entertaining debate I’ve ever seen) and then talking about it afterwards.

If you had asked me earlier this year, though, I would not have expected William (a 14-year-old 8th grader) to be glued to the screen along with John, Emily, and me.  It’s true that our big kids were interested in watching debates at his age, but I wouldn’t have thought William would sacrifice two or three hours of precious time that could have been spent researching one of his many obsessions about which he wishes to acquire ALL THE KNOWLEDGE to watch a debate.

As it turns out, though, he did watch the entire first debate, and had plenty of intelligent insights and opinions about the participants.  We all enjoyed talking it over and mostly agreed on who we thought did well.  Agreement on matters political is not taken for granted in this house, where the parents have opposing views on some issues and the kids have been raised to think critically and to form their own opinions, so it was interesting that we reached such similar conclusions.

So William was bitten by the bug, and he has added Donald Trump and his antics to his list of topics he researches.  For the past month he has watched videos about the Donald and has kept all of us updated on what he has learned (most recently being my source of intel about Mr. Trump’s Twitter exchanges with the Mexican drug lord who is on the lam).  William was so excited about watching last night’s debate that he did his homework WHILE IT WAS STILL DAYLIGHT, without complaining, so that he would not miss any of it.

That debate was really, really long, y’all.  Too long.  But we stuck it out, although we were too tired to hash it all over for too long afterwards.  Once again, William had opinions.  But there were a lot of people up there, and he wasn’t clear on all their names.  When he started reeling off his thoughts accompanied by his own unique descriptors, I knew I had to run for my notebook so I could record them for you all to hear.

2016 GOP Candidates, as named by William

1. Trump

2.  Jeb

3.  Young guy

4.  Jersey man

5.  Little curly ugly-haired man

6.  Sad man

7.  Woman

8.  Brain surgeon

9.  Random person

10. Old man that was not afraid to say things (clue: based on observations from the first debate)

11. He couldn’t even remember this one by the end–I wonder what that says about his chances?

Leave me a comment if you think you can guess who is who. 😉 And tell me, do your kids watch the debates? Do you talk to them about politics? Do you get upset if they don’t agree with your political views?

[2017 Update:  William was definitely bitten by the political bug thanks to the 2016 elections.  He now follows politics regularly and wants to hear the latest news when I pick him up from school each day.]

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  1. I think it’s great that you are doing this with your son! What a great way to help him grow. The nicknames are funny too!

  2. Michele says:

    I love it that you watch the debates with kids. It is a great way for them to learn to think critically. We could use some more critical thinkers during this election process!

  3. I think it’s great that you watched the debate with your children. It really starts them thinking about our government and the voting process. Teaching them to participate and have opinions about already is wonderful. The interest will grow and they will become involved citizens some day! Great job! Love the cute list of candidates too! 🙂

  4. Adrienne says:

    I think this is awesome, and I love the fact that you are allowing your children to research and form their own opinion.

  5. Allison (funfamily.vacations) says:

    I read this post the other day on FB and meant to comment. Love that you are getting your kids into politics and it is so great they have parents that don’t always agree (or agree to disagree – LOL). They can hear both sides at home and start forming their own opinions. Very important!

  6. Good for you and your kids. I get sick of those who don’t bother to think below the surface. If your family can communicate happily on this topic I am sure it will carry over into the rest of life.
    Kathleen
    Fridays Blog Booster Party #24

  7. We love discussing political and economic issues over breakfast. The kids get pretty into it, but we keep it on a friendly level. We try to see various points of view and decide what we would do if we were lawmakers. It makes me happy.

  8. I love that you watch the debates with your children and they form their own opinions about the candidates.I think it’s awesome your son has taken an interest in the candidates. Love his list of nicknames, too.

  9. I love Presidential Debates! I am always so fascinated how they can come up with a smooth answer on the spot. I can only think of a good comeback after I’m out of the situation. Politicians offer a good lesson in debate tactics. I will definitely watch them with my kids in a future. For now we don’t let them watch TV yet.

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