Little political animal

We didn’t expect it and we didn’t encourage it, but from the day of the first televised political debate, the one with the seven party leaders, my daughter was hooked on the election.

My girl is only 9, yet she was genuinely interested. She watched TV, she listened to the radio, she asked questions. And she absorbed information like a sponge.

Every day, she grew to understand politics a little bit more. She found out for herself what the main parties stood for. She knew all the leaders. She learned about first past the post and proportional representation. She knew that only seats, not votes, counted for the final result. She knew that the winning party would need a majority for the leader to become prime minister – or they’d have to strike an agreement with another party to form a coalition.

She looked at the signs around town and understood we weren’t voting for David Cameron, Nick Clegg or Ed Milliband. Bit by bit, she formed her own opinions. She decided she would like to vote Lib-Dem, which was, until Friday morning, the way of the South-West.

She was far better informed, with far clearer opinions, than many people in their 20s and 30s. People who have the vote. Adults who blindly voted UKIP or wondered why David Cameron and ‘that nice Scottish lady’ weren’t on their ballot slip (this really happens!).

My daughter had her Royal Ballet audition on the day of the election. Did she talk about ballet on the way there? No. She talked about the election. Non-stop. She set the TV to record the overnight coverage. On two channels. She didn’t want to miss a thing.

If all goes to plan, her biggest brother will vote in the election. His decision at the moment is at odds with his family’s and is based on no research whatsoever. I hope he follow his little sister’s lead and put more thought into it before his time comes.

I’m so proud of my daughter for showing an interest in politics and the election, for researching it and and forming her own opinions. Who knew she could be a political animal at the age of just 9?

Mum of Three World

Author: Sarah Mummy

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23 Comments

  1. That’s really quite impressive!! I had no interest in politics whatsoever until I was about 17 and could vote for the first time ever. She will be recording the budget next 🙂

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    • Thanks very much! I was slightly interested as a teenager, but certainly not as young as 9! Although growing up with a dad who worked at a council, I think I understood more than I realised as a child.
      Won’t be looking forward to her recording the budget!

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    • Thanks very much! Let’s so hope so, eh? Younger people taking an interest in politics can really make a difference.

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  2. I was the same as a young girl Sarah and the interest never left me. Good on her for taking such an interest. As you say. I’m sure sure she was better informed than many voters! X

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    • That’s good to know that you kept that interest all through your childhood and into adulthood, hopefully she will do the same. She’s definitely better informed than a lot of voters! x

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  3. Oh how lovely. In fact I was actually quite shocked at how many people had never voted before (in their 30s), and glad to see that so many more people are, and are understanding it all. All my children watched the Leaders debate and it was all discussed as it was my oldest’s first time voting too.

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    • I’m surprised at how many had never voted before too. It’s so important to have an understanding of it all and good that we can get our children interested before they vote. How exciting for your son to be voting for the first time!

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  4. What a little star, and good for her. It’s so important to know about politics and to show such interest at her age is brilliant. My 7yo pointed out it was election day and I was surprised and wondered if school had discussed it. Goes to show that they take in more than we give them credit for.

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    • Definitely! I was very impressed with her. Sounds like your son’s school might have been discussing it 🙂

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  5. Wow Sarah, this is fantastic! She was probably more clued up than the majority of voters. My son became interested right at the last minute, the girls showed no interest whatsoever! Eldest daughter says she will probably vote for whoever is already in power, unless they’ve done anything majorly wrong – there’s a worry! x

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    • Thanks very much. That’s exactly what my eldest says – and he’ll be voting in the next election! He doesn’t see anything bad in the outside world, so he’s happy. Hoping he will open his eyes and get better informed in the next few years. x

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  6. Nine years old?
    That’s pretty impressive!
    At nine years of age, I was still into Sindy dolls and wasn’t really interested in politics, save listening to my dad rant on about Thatcher…
    Maybe your daughter will be a future politician? 😉 X

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    • Let’s hope not, eh?! In our defence, there wasn’t wall-to-wall election TV coverage when we were kids, although I reckon a lot of dads would have ranted about Thatcher! x

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  7. UK’s political system is new to me. I am from a country who votes for the president, senators and congressman/woman. But I am slowly learning. Slowly. I wish I can give it more time as its really interesting. Amazing how your daughter is so into it. Not a lot of kids would take time and look at politics that in-depth. She is always amazing =) #pocolo / #loudnproud

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    • Thank you! That’s such a lovely thing to say 🙂 I think learning another country’s political system is always going to be hard. For example, I know if I hear about US elections on TV, I don’t have the foggiest idea how it works!

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  8. It’s great to see kids get engaged with politics early. Isaac (who’s 7) also surprisingly showed an interest although some of the nuances were lost on him. It really does expose how little some grown-ups seemed to understand, as you say!

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    • Thanks very much. It is remarkable how little some adults understand as there is just so much in the media now – you don’t even have to read, just turn on the telly!

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  9. A great reason to be proud, I love hearing about others encouraging their child’s interest in politics. It’s so important to instil in them early, I think. My eldest two will be able to vote in the next election (!!!) and I have been actively encouraging them to pay attention to politics and understand their importance and what it means for them – particularly as young adults. Thanks for linking up! #loudnproud

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    • Thanks very much. My eldest will be voting too! It’s hard to believe. He had a little bit of interest in it, but nowhere near as much as his sister, and I wasn’t impressed with the conclusions he came to! Hopefully he will be thinking more clearly in five years’ time.

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  10. I think it is brilliant that they are interested, I never was and I think it is such n important part of their future that they should have an understanding of politics and how the election works.

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  11. Well done your girl. It’s great that she is already showing such enthusiasm and interest in politics. There are so many adults who don’t bother to vote but then moan about the outcome.
    Thanks for linking up with #SSAmazingAchievements

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  12. This is really amazing, at nine I wouldn’t have been interested at all. I know my parents voted but that was about it. I think I should have took advice from your daughter lol

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