Parenting at the Polls: 10 Lessons Your Kids Can Learn


Whomever your candidate(s), whichever your party, whatever your issues of import, please use Election Day as an opportunity to share with your children—and remind yourself of—the incredible gift of living in the United States of America.

1. The right to vote is a privilege, responsibility, and pleasure.

No roller coaster or water slide waits at the front of those long lines, yet wait in line we usually do…largely without complaint.

Voting with Children

2. America believes in second chances.

Whether you’re in elementary school or an elected official seeking a second term, if you genuinely want to keep trying, you should. People will support you.

3. Stickers!

Grown-ups appreciate them as much as potty-training toddlers.

Voting with Children

4. If you have big dreams and big ideas, go for them.

You may spend vast quantities of your time, your money, and your energy. You may be entrusted with the time, money, and energies of others. You may try your very hardest, and even so, things may not go your way. You will never know what you’re truly capable of unless you try. No one who gives their all can ever be called a “loser.”

5. Your vote counts.

You may feel outnumbered. You may feel you’re simply one small voice within a vast population and your puny, single voice won’t make a difference. In America, you can—and must—vote. 

6. Be careful making promises.

Sometimes it becomes challenging to keep your word, even if you have every intention of doing so. Broken promises are difficult to forgive and forget. Choose your words and declare your goals with care.

7. Don’t let rumors affect your choice and behavior.

Polls, predictions, prognostications…you can listen, but don’t alter your decisions. Do what you feel is right, always.

8. Willingly work with others.

Compromise is tough, but there is always greater strength in numbers.

9. Be kind. Be empathetic. Be patient.

Every citizen wants “the best” for our city, our state, our country, but we often vary in our beliefs on the best way to get there. Remember: others feel as passionately and positively about their candidate and principles as you do about yours.

10. Be understanding. Be hopeful. Be American.