Little people, big questions: part one

This is the first in a series of articles looking at the big questions, little people often ask.

In the run up to the general election the big kids began to ask lots of questions. On the day of the election these questions escalated dramatically.

I was really pleased that they had taken such a keen interest early on but at the same time their questions were not easy ones to answer.

When it came to trying to explain the different political parties and party leaders to them I struggled to think how best to express it.

After some internal head battles I opted to explain it all as if the political parties were football teams and the party leaders their captains.

They understood this and this moved our conversation on .


After I had voted, they wanted to know who I voted for of course. After some further debate with myself I decided not to tell them. I instead chose to explain why I was not going to tell them.

They have a reasonably good understanding of war and so I explained that wars normally start because two or more groups of people or countries have different opinions on religion or politics or both. I explained that the big scale version of a fall out is a war and a small scale fall out would be two friends or family members falling out because they had different views.

They understood this but they thought it was silly to fall out because one person had a different opinion to another. If only the rest of the world saw it like this!

I went on to explain that if I told them who I voted for and they happened to mention it to someone else that person might not want to be friends.

They understood that I was not telling them something for a good reason and we went on to discuss what various parties (football teams) thought was important and how these would be important to some people and not to others.

It was one of the most challenging conversations I have had with the children to date but it is also really satisfying that they are interested enough to debate it with me.

Did your children ask questions about the election? How did you handle it?

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  1. My son is only just 4 and didn’t have a clue that the election was going on! Sounds like you had some really interesting conversations with your children about it though. Reading this, I’m quite glad I didn’t have to try and explain it to mine this time round! Sounds like you handled it really well though! x

  2. We took my daughter (5) to vote with us this year, so she was very interested in what was going on, and had lots of questions (mainly why’s) but was interested to see all the process from the signing in to putting an X in the box (although was a little upset that she couldn’t be the one to make the mark – something else we had to explain).

    1. Oh bless – yes I can imagine that was frustrating for her and also hard to explain. It’s so good that they are interested early on but it keeps us on our toes I think!

  3. You are a very brave and good person to even try to explain politics to children. Perhaps being from Northern Ireland, I am more likely to avoid this topic completely, as to be honest, I can’t understand half of it myself! #sharewithme

  4. Oh gosh that really is a challenging conversation and I don’t think I will be good at these kind of questions and challenges when mine are older and I hope Daddy comes to the rescue when its time to answer big questions. lol Thanks for linking up to Share With Me I hope you are enjoying my blog hop and thanks for all the linky support! #sharewithme

  5. I’m a Primary School teacher and had a wonderful time teaching the children about what was going on. The children all loved it, it made them feel very mature! It’s so nice to hear that other parents are interested in getting their children up to speed with some of these “BIG questions”.

    1. Thanks Tom. I know some parents adopt the “leave it to school” approach but I prefer to deal with it, otherwise I know they will be horrified I didn’t tell them.

  6. The boys mum and her partner are very much in to elections, voting and the government. Far much more than me. Despite this the boys have very little interest in it. Have no idea why though. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week.

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