School elections are good stepping stones for your child if he plans a future in civic volunteerism. Even shy children may become interested in leadership at their school or in their classroom. If your child has expressed an interest in winning a class position, then give her the support she needs to win. Whether the child wins or loses, he will understand more about democracy and the election process. Learn how to help your child win a school election with practical steps.
Listen to Your Child
Practice active listening and meet with your child to get her ideas on the election. You might ask her pointed questions like why she wants to run, what she hopes to achieve. Don’t offer advice yet, hold that until after the child has had a chance to speak.
Now, Mom and Dad is your chance to give some pointers. Use this checklist to cover important points.
• Ask the child how much help he needs. He may want a little or a lot. Leave it up to him.
• Encourage him to have a campaign slogan. It should be simple and easy for the other children to remember. For example, “Vote for Edward” or “Jesse is for Kids.”
• Talk to the child about the possible outcome. Prepare him for winning and losing.
• Ask her what kind of campaign gear she needs. Will she need flyers, buttons or novelties to hand out? You may need to call the school for this information.
• Follow the rules. Tell your child to follow the rules and to have integrity in the race.
• No mud-slinging. Tell your child this behavior will only make him look bad.
Gather support for your child by inviting his friends over for a poster night. At this poster night, you, your child and his friends will make election decorations to place around the school. Have a poster ready to serve as an example for kids to go by. Have supplies and snacks ready. This would be a good event for your child to offer a preview of his speech or ask his friends for help writing his speech.
More Tips for Winning an Election
• Attend your child’s election debate
• Encourage your child to make eye contact with others while making his speech
• Send snacks and treats to class regularly