Yesterday marked a historic day in American history. No matter how the election pans out, it will be momentous. This was the first time an African American male was a contender on the Democratic ticket, and the first time a female was part of the Republican ticket. To be a part of history in the making makes me proud and patriotic. I was thrilled to have my daughter along to experience it all.
The presidential election is less than two weeks away so we are being inundated with commercials, mailers, news articles and conversations about the next commander-in-chief. Yesterday we gave you some ideas for including your lil ones in the electoral process. Today, we want to know if you plan to bring your children to your polling station on November 4th.
You may need to be 18 to cast a vote, but you're never too young to have an opinion. This is why I have brought my kids to the voting booths since they were born. I grew up listening to my mother say, "You can't complain if you don't vote" so I registered as soon as I earned the right. Moms and dads worried about the line at their polling place need not. The upcoming election may be the most important one we vote in and as parents our children will be affected by who we support. To make the experience fun for future voters of America, check out our tips!
- Put a "Countdown to Vote" calendar on your refrigerator and have your lil ones tear the days away
- Teach them a lil election etiquette — we all have the right to make our own choices, but need to be respectful other others, too
- Help them make a button that says, "I'll be voting in 2020!" (or whatever year they are of age) to wear to the polls.
- Bring along a makeshift ballot for them to fill out while you cast your vote.
- Allow them to pull the lever in the booth
- Have your child hand in your ballot
- Give them your voting sticker and treat it like a badge of honor
To check out our ideas for older children, read more
The presidential election has most parents on the edge of their seats — tuning into the debates, making sure their registration is updated, even campaigning for their candidate — but, even preschoolers are going political. Our children hear more than just mom and dad's opinion, they read the billboards and digest the commercials on television and memorize the slogans. In one Iowa home, mealtime turns into a debate between a couple of opinionated siblings.
Does your child favor a candidate?
One of the Presidential candidates will be the future leader of our country, but would you trust them to hold your babe? One dad did.
Darren Garnick, father of two, recants his experience hitting the campaign trail for pictures of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John McCain, John Edwards, Rudy Giuliani, Dennis Kucinich, Bill Richardson and Mitt Romney with his 5-month-old daughter, Dahlia in a recent Slate article. He wrote:
"As a resident of the "Live Free or Die" state, I'll concede that the New Hampshire presidential primary gives us ridiculously disproportionate influence. But I love the fact that my state's electoral power comes with a great fringe benefit: It's easy to enshrine the next president in your family scrapbook. A sucker for political kitsch, I set out to photograph my 5-month-old daughter, Dahlia, in the arms of every candidate with a prayer of making it to the White House."
To finish the post, read more