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Parents need to teach kids the importance of voting

Posted by on August 28, 2012 – 10:30 pm

I sat down at our breakfast table with my early ballot Tuesday morning.

Several times in the past, my husband and I have taken our kids to the polls with us, even to just drop off our early ballots. I wanted to keep that tradition going, but knew my schedule would be tight. So I decided to fill out my ballot with my daughter next to me.

“Why are you doing that?” she asked.

I explained how Americans vote for those who represent us. I showed her the different candidates on the ballot and marked my choices.

“How do you know them?”

That was a little harder to explain. We don’t watch a lot of television, so I couldn’t point to any ads on TV. But she knows I work for a newspaper, so I told her that I read about them and picked the ones that I felt would do a good job.

I know in a few years – too soon for mommy, I’m sure – she will be able to pull out her own pen and ballot.

My hope is that she’ll remember watching me do this year after year, and she’ll take the time to do the same.


  • That is a great idea! Teaching our kids about voting is very important and i think teaching them to research things them self is very important too. If they can learn the importance of voting and how to draw there own concision on who to vote for and not follow everyone else around them this will help our country to remain strong!

  • balancedmama says:

    Why not have her sit next to you while you do some of the research too? Your daughter’s question, “how do you know them?” demonstrates how astute she is. In the future, you can read news articles to her (as you are reading them – at least some of the time) and just replace long words with ones that will make more sense to her, as well as edit for sensitive topics and/or quotes as you read. The Sunday Breakfast Table or right after dinner are both GREAT times for this as a family all throughout the campaign year (as long as homework isn’t interferring). Then, not only will she remember voting, but she’ll remember informed voting. As she gets older and these “current event family meetings” become more and more common, other elections can be discussed this way too (bonds, initiatives, etc).