PARENTING is an endless cycle of wondering whether you’ve done the right thing – shared enough information, but not too much, given an unbiased opinion, but given them enough space to form their own opinions and views of the world.

The worry that you’ve done too little or too much is constant. And never is it more complicated than when it comes to politics and elections.

My children have protested, voted and been to work with me since they were in nappies. They, like many children, are exposed to the political systems that are in place and also to discussion about how those systems effect our everyday life.

We talk about why we vote, we discuss the details of various manifestos and what impact they would have on their school, our hospitals and our friends from overseas. They may not understand what Brexit means (do any of us?) but at five and seven years old they understand democracy and the importance of us using our voices and our vote.

Trying to give them a balanced perspective is hard and the hesitation in my very carefully considered words does not pass me by unnoticed. Their questions are endless and the answers are not simple or even available at all.

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Why is “Why?” such a difficult question when it comes to anything about politics? But somewhere in the process of them asking their questions comes the realisation that this isn’t only helpful for them. The forced examination of particular policies, parties and processes is beneficial for me too.

The result of them sifting through my understanding of various things and trying to find child-friendly answers, is that it ultimately all comes down to kindness and consideration. Who will lead in a way that is considerate and kind to all? And what do we do if the answer is no-one?

I use the analogy that was all over social media just prior to the election – voting isn’t marriage, it’s public transport. You are not waiting for “the one” who is absolutely perfect. You are getting the bus. And if there isn’t one going exactly to your destination, you don’t stay at home and sulk, you take the one going closest to where you want to be.

People need to understand that, children need to understand that. We should all be voting to get closer to our idea of perfection. If we wait for perfection, we will be waiting a very long time.

I hope that one day my children will confidently challenge my views and put forward their own with strong evidence of research and passion. I hope that they understand that it is ok not to agree with us or with their friends; that opposing political views do not have to make or break a relationship.

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I hope they understand the importance of healthy, informed debate and do not shut down conversations or respond with name-calling when someone does not share their opinion or enthusiasm on a topic. I don’t know how I would teach them all of these things if we didn’t include them in our conversations about the world we live in.

Opting out of politics is not an option unless you also want to opt out of sharing your opinion on our education system, our bin collections and our national health service. Do not complain about waiting for six hours in A&E and then tell me you didn’t vote.

We need to talk to our children about politics. They need to understand how their world is shaped and who by and that they have an opportunity to influence the world they will eventually adult in. I try hard to give my children a balanced view but exposure and context is everything.

They see me working long hours to support people that have been failed by our government. I strive for a balanced perspective but when there is a print on our wall that reads “no sexists, no racists, no fascists” how do I then explain our Prime Minister?