Have you ever taken your children voting with you? If not, what was holding you back? Election Day is almost here and I’m here to help you prepare you to vote – and to teach your children about the process.
Kids and Voting
The website VoteSmart.org and their app are both exceptional teaching tools for the entire family. At VoteSmart.org you can look up your area representatives and find their voting records, statements, issues, positions, donors, etc. You can use these hard facts to discuss why these are important things for voters to know about the people that represent you.
Bring them along!
My daughter was 3 when she sat behind me in the chair as I voted in the 2016 presidential election. In 2020, I will have BOTH kids in tow, proudly wearing their “Future President” shirts.
It’s important you make sure your children don’t actually vote! It sounds silly, but they can’t sway your vote, nor the people around you. They cannot color in the circles for you. Tell your children the voting booth is like a library. The people around you are studying their ballots and trying to concentrate. For my child, it was such a foreign place to her that she was fascinated with everything going on around her. If you are a two-parent household, maybe take turns voting so one can watch the kids and ensure they are abiding by the rules.
The morning after election day (let those kiddos sleep before school), talk about the final results. Look up the actual vote tallies and show them your vote made an impact. I remember in the presidential election in 2016 there was a New Hampshire precinct with a margin of votes by only a handful. That was the perfect lesson in demonstrating that every vote counts!
Want to expand even further?
Here are a few more resources from VoteSmart.org.
- Government 101
- Glossary of political terms Learn together what it means if “legislation is placed in the hopper” and what happens when “cloture” is invoked in the Senate.