There are so many great reasons to take your kids to the voting booth this year. Providing your children with a real-life demonstration of how they can make their voice count on issues that are important to their future, for instance. Taking advantage of a key opportunity to allow your kids to see how politics work firsthand. Teaching them about the importance of being engaged and involved in the community. Creating lifetime memories that will hopefully encourage them to vote when they're older.
Yes indeed, I could probably list the benefits all day long -- but there is absolutely, positively no way in hell I'm bringing my kids to the polls on November 6th, and here's why.
For one thing, I already voted. I've always done the vote-by-mail thing. I just prefer the convenience and the ability to take my time mouth-breathing over the local ballot measures one last time.
For another thing, my children are feral monsters. Okay, they aren't really, but they're seven- and four-year-old boys. They're not exactly fantastic at staying still, staying quiet, or staying out of everyone's way. I'd rather focus on the task at hand instead of being distracted by the need to shush, chase, and hiss a variety of threats -- and the last thing I'd ever want to do is disrupt someone else's voting experience.
They're kind of young to appreciate it. I could totally see taking them when they're a little older. But let's be real, right now they'd be far more interested in whether or not the pens are free for the taking, and if it's okay to plaster their bodies with flag stickers.
Seriously, did I mention the part where they're crazy? If the three of us can't make it through the grocery without me losing my damn mind ("Dylan, put that down! Riley, slow down! Indoor voices! I SAID NO RUNNING!!"), there's no way we'd survive a trip to the polls. I completely understand the idea of taking kids from day one, but it's not for me. Maybe next year … or maybe we'll just set up a learning activity around a mail-in ballot.
Are you taking your kids to the voting booth this year?
Image via Kristin_A/Flickr
Going to baseball games
Riding bike rides in the nice weather
Playing outside after work/school
Going for walks outside