Bring Your Kids to the Polls

A large part of parenting is trying to raise our kids to be good citizens. We give them chores to teach them to contribute to the work of the household we take them to volunteer to get them involved in their community and we model kindness and respect to those around us.

But another important part of good citizenship is being committed to voting in every election. Amber Coleman-Mortley with iCivics tells the Washington Post that to raise kids who vote we should take them with to us to the polls during each election starting when they’re in elementary school.

Don’t just show them how to vote; tell them whom you are voting for and why. “Then talk about what happens if your candidate doesn’t win” Coleman-Mortley says. “Part of being a good citizen is figuring out what you can do next” she says while still being open to the possibility that the candidate you didn’t vote for may make a positive impact too.

As your kids get older they’ll begin to learn how government works how to stay informed how to think critically about the news and politics and how to reach their own conclusions about an issue or candidate. But it starts with them watching us do those things.

If you’ve never taken your kids with you to vote Tuesday’s midterm elections is a good time to start. Maybe even let them hit the button to cast your ballot—just make sure they know to wait until you’ve made all your selections.