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Did you bring your kids to vote?

Did you bring your kids to vote?

Vote 2012By the time you read this the election will be decided, the political ads will be replaced by holiday commercials, and Facebook friends will reunite (fingers crossed on that last one). It’s been an exciting and sometimes frustrating election season. As a mom I have been trying to tune out the noise and concentrate on the issues that impact me and my family.

But I think maybe I turned the volume down a bit too much. A few days ago, Olivia (age 6) was asking me about why she didn’t have school on Election Day. As I started to explain a slew of questions were batted in my direction. I answered them head on while wondering if I had somehow missed opportunities to teach my daughter more about the political process.

Honestly, I didn’t think she was would even be interested in this “grown up” stuff. Boy was I wrong. I loved how she jumped right into it even asking me to keep on NPR to listen to news coverage.

And apparently a lot of my friends with young children were in the same boat. Well according to my Facebook feed, that is, which was filled with posts from moms and dads about their voting adventures with their children. Some of my faves:

  • Took [L] with me to vote this morning. She was really interested in the ballot – she thought I had to go in and raise my hand to vote like she does in school. 🙂
  • No stickers, no bake sale. Three kids who almost knocked over a voting booth, and who sung and talked loud about who I voted for.
  • Kids and I voted this am. [B] asked “where is the president?” She thought she would see him at the polls.
  • I am not above bribery <insert pic of kid eating donut>. In a related story, he did not pop his face into anyone else’s voting booth.
  • All 4 kids are joining us as we vote as [dad] and I feel strongly that it is important for them to see their parents duo their civic duty. That said, I assume the national guard is standing by in case one of the rottens gets out of control.
  • Voted! Lines were not bad at all. I took the kids – [A] wanted to wait in the car, [L] was fascinated.
  • Can’t wait to vote, but my kids really wanted to go with me, so will go after school.

Ultimately we decided we would do the voting thing as a family even though there was a good possibility Owen (age 1) would meltdown if the lines were too long. He didn’t. In fact, it was pretty smooth sailing so much so that Olivia said, “Is that it?”

So how about you, did you venture out to the polls with your little ones? And, if so, did any hilarity ensue?

2 comments

  1. Mary

    Organized Mom November 8, 2012 at 2:59 am

    While I opted not to bring my kids to vote, they did get to experience “voting” at Bright Horizons. Since school was closed, I was fortunate to be able to have my daughter go to BH. Due to numbers she hung out with her brother in preschool. I love the note that came home that night and all the discussion it resulted in. Here’s a portion of the daily note…

    After the question of the day, we had a class discussion about voting. The preschoolers learned that you have to be at least 18 years old and an American citizen to vote and to become a president, you have to be at least 35 years old and also and American citizen. We also talked about how each president can only have a maximum of 2 terms in office which is 8 years…if they are elected and re-elected. Miss K. and I showed our children pictures of each presidential candidate and talked about which party they represented. Some children simply like the color of construction paper they were mounted on! We explained to the preschoolers that we were going to vote in our classroom (even though no one is 18!) I created a voting booth in our dramatic play area that was private with a curtain…
    The children lined up and waited patiently as we took each child in the voting booth. K and I posted photos of each candidate with their names written next to them and handed the preschoolers ballots. Once they had made their informed decision, they used hole-punchers to cast their vote. As they walked out of the booth, they placed their ballot in the ballot box. As they were doing this, we talked about confidentiality and also the pride they should feel by making a difference and voting. After all of the votes were in we regrouped back at circle time to count and discover who Preschool 2 would elect for President of the United States. The preschoolers waited patiently as Miss K. took each ballot out one at a time and announced what it said.
    As Miss K. announced the ballots, Miss A. made a graph on the easel. One side for Mitt Romney (in red) and one side for Barack Obama (in blue) After all of the votes were announced we all observed our graph to find out Preschool 2’s election winner. We started on Mitt Romney’s side where we discovered 6 friends voted for him. Then we looked over to the Barack Obama side where we found that 12 of our friends voted for him. We then asked the friends, “Who had more votes?” The friends all yelled out, “Barack Obama!” Surprisingly, the preschoolers were really into the excitement of voting and going through the voting process. We like to think it is good practice for when they start voting just like us… in about 14-15 more years!

  2. Media Mom

    MediaMom November 8, 2012 at 7:09 pm

    I always bring at least one of my kids to vote, and ideally both. Luckily our polling place is my daughter’s school AND they do not close school on election day. My husband had gone to vote in the morning and reported how long the line were, so I elected (pun intended) to pick my daughter up early from her after school program and bring her to the gym with me for voting before picking my toddler son up from child care (he wouldn’t have survived a long wait). I did, however, send my son to school in his Future President of the United States shirt.

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