Kids can’t vote. But parents can help them make a difference.

How to encourage your child’s passion to save the world

The news is full of stories about kids leading the way on some of the biggest issues of the day: a Michigan teen who helped bring attention to the Flint water crisis; kids organizing an anti-gun rally in Washington, D.C., after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting; a global walkout by children of all ages for climate change.

“Kids pay attention to these things,” says Jessica Taft, professor of Latin American and Latino Studies at the University of California Santa Cruz, who writes about youth activism. “If we look at research over time, kids have been pretty consistently attentive to what's happening around them in the world, because it matters to them.”

Children might not be able to vote in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, but they have issues they care deeply about—and parents who empower their kids to express their voices are helping them gain crucial life skills.

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