How Does the Majority Rule? (for 4- to 7-year-olds)

Young boy looking at camera and smiling. He is costumed in a colonial-style red, white and blue suit with a tricorn hat and ruffled shirtfront
Cathy Walters

You can help your preschooler or school-age child understand the concept of "majority rule" — where we abide by the decision of the majority (even when we disagree).

Reserve a Saturday afternoon for your kids to do an activity of their choosing. The choices should have a similar fun quotient, such as:

  1. Play at a neighborhood park.
  2. Swim at a local pool.
  3. Go out for ice cream.

Note: Choose activities that will "split the vote" among your kids.

Have family members vote for their favorite, tally the votes and announce the winning activity. One or more of your children may be unhappy with the result. Empathize with the "losers," and explain that although disappointed, they'll need to respect the outcome of the election.

While you're enjoying your ice cream (that's what I'd choose), explain that in the United States we don't have a king or dictator who makes decisions for us. Instead, we (the people) have the privilege and responsibility to sign up to vote and then select leaders who represent our values.

—Dr. Bill Maier

Developmental milestones

As you teach your child about choices and majority rule, consider what's going on developmentally at this age:

Developments in your child's intellect and speech will enable you to communicate with him in much more sophisticated ways. He will still be intensely curious about the world around him and is now better equipped to learn about it. More important, he will also want to understand how you see things both great and small and what is important to you. … This wide-eyed openness will not last forever. While you will greatly influence his thinking throughout childhood, during the coming months you will have an important window of opportunity to lay foundations that will affect the rest of his life.

—Taken from the Complete Guide to Baby & Child Care, published by Tyndale House Publishers Inc., © 1997, 2007 Focus on the Family.

From God's Word

As your kids hear about the coming elections, now is a good time to discuss God's desire for us to submit to our country's chosen leaders. And what do the authorities ask of us? Our engagement. As President Abraham Lincoln said, ours is a government "of the people, by the people and for the people."

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." (Romans 13:1)

"How Does the Majority Rule? (for 4- to 7-year-olds" first appeared in the August/September 2012 issue of Thriving Family magazine and was a section in the article titled "We The People ...." If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family’s marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

Copyright © 2012 by Focus on the Family and Dr. Bill Maier. Used by permission.

Next in this Series: The Democratic Process and Your Tweens

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