I'd Rather Eat a Bag of "I Voted!" Stickers Than Take My Kids to the Polls

Political Wrangling 8

voting with kidsThere 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

discipline, kid activities, election

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Rhond... RhondaVeggie

I have to take mine. There's no school tomorrow.

nonmember avatar Anon

I always have. This year they are 5 and 6. They will be quiet and still or they will have to go sit in the hall while I vote. Usually they are well-behaved, but last year I did have to send them to the hall.

Roy Cupper

Already did...we took my 3 year old Granddaughter to the polls with us. It was a family event for everyone in the house to vote and to go out to breakfast. In my house you can vote (don't care who you vote for) or you find some new living arrangements. Sounds harse but we have a right that many countries do not have. My children were raised to know the value in the freedoms they enjoy.

nonmember avatar Kelly

The baby's coming along with me tomorrow. She's easier to wrangle since I can still keep her in a stroller.

miche... micheledo

Ha ha!  OUr children have gone every year (they are now 6, 5, 4, 2, and 10 months old).  We quickly learned that the BIGGEST danger to watch for is the cord.  One of our kids almost unplugged one of the machines.  NOT A GOOD IDEA.  :D 


I'll be honest, I would not take my children by myself.  ONly when my husband and I go together do we take them with us! Then we take turns voting, and if they want to go with us to watch us vote, they can.

nonmember avatar westcoastgal

As a non-American I won't be voting. When it is time for my elections I always vote and I always take my child. At 7, there is an understanding of this being our right and responsibility. I was raised that way as well and we always watch results etc as they are available. I want my family to grow up appreciating and participating in the democratic process. I find making the trip to a polling station a great way to have those conversations.

Todd Vrancic

We have always taken our kids to the polls with us.  We have never had any problems with them while we voted, so I don't get this article.

Julia Eubanks

I will take my teenagers! they need to see the process and my oldest will be voting in next election! Opps! Both of them will and They need to see how it happens! They have went with me every year! We love to go together! aAnd I hope they allow they to go back with me! This is a learning experience!

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