Take Your Kids to Vote On Election Day!by EJ on 04/26/16
It's Primary Election Day here in our beloved state of Delaware, as well as in Pennsylvania, Maryland and Connecticut. Our family has a tradition of taking the kids to the polls, so they can see what it's all about and how voting works and how special and important it really is. Fortunately for our family of seven, we live in a small town and we've never had to wait in line at the polls so voting normally goes quickly, which is always helpful. Our polling place is also extremely kid-friendly and they're encourage dot be party of the process. Here are some tips for taking your own monsters to the polls:
1. Find out what your local polling places' rules are for kids. Different places have different rules regarding what kids can and can't do in the polling place. Our polling place allows kids of all ages to attend, and they can even stand inside the curtains with a parent, on the left side.
2. Communicate to your children the importance of voting in our society. There are all kinds of Election Day printables online and you can even hold a mock election amongst stuffed animals. You can do these activities to build up to the big day.
3. Plan ahead and figure out when your polling place is least crowded. In our case, we have a child with Asperger's Syndrome/High-Functioning Autism and he doesn't appreciate changes in routine, so keeping the trip to the polls quick is key to avoid a meltdown. We also have an ADHD-er, who doesn't stand still for anything. Keep the visit to the polls brief and that will hopefully avoid any kiddo mood swings so that they'll actually benefit from the experience.
4. Allow your child(ren) to help sign-in at the polling place. Let your child hand over your Driver's License to the precinct worker. If the rules allow, he/she can even press the VOTE button.
5. Talk to your children about the voting experience afterwards. What did they think of voting? Who was there? What did they see and do at the polls? Did you run into neighbors or friends?
6. Make the voting experience memorable. We always write down one or two things that the kids said that Election Day, something that made the moment memorable. Last Election Day, for instance, our then four year old daughter cried and pouted as we were leaving, because she thought she would be meeting Mitt Romney, whom she'd seen on television so many times. When she cried out in very dramatic fashion as we exited the polls, "I didn't get to meet Mitt Romney!" everyone was in giggle fits.
7. Express your pride that you voted and encourage your kids to be proud, too. Post a picture to Facebook that you voted with the kids. Some polling places have stickers and the kids will proudly wear them. Our daughter was telling everyone we saw during our errands afterward, that "we voted!"
Go VOTE and absolutely TAKE THE KIDS! We've got some tips for making Election Day go smoothly for the kiddos.... https://t.co/EGscnr19ew— Four Little Monsters (@4LilMonsterBlog) April 26, 2016