As a solopreneur and a working mother, I never take the importance of productivity for granted. So, I’ve decided to capitalize on the opportunity to make Election Day a teachable moment for my child, while at the same time, embracing my civil duties. After all, I don’t take the right to vote lightly. I realize that my fore-mothers burned a lot of bras — I’m sure many of them expensive, beautiful and much needed — so that I would have the ability to make my voice heard. I only wish they had some advice on what to do with the little one during this historical event. That’s when I came across an article in Forbes that provided a bit of inspiration.
The article suggests starting kids off on Election Day with a fun American-themed red, white and blue breakfast. Since I don’t have a lot of time during our busy morning, I’ve decided to go with a simple yet healthy blend of strawberries, blueberries and yogurt. I’ve also placed a book on the kitchen table that has a nice drawing of the American flag on it. I hope to be able to chat with my child briefly about the American flag and what it represents. As for the election itself, most children who are out of the toddler stage can comprehend “winning” and “losing.” Talking about a “race” between two parties isn’t that far out of a little one’s sense of reality.
I plan on continuing Election Day by taking my little guy with me to the voting booth. I’d love to say that this is strictly because of some grand lesson I have in mind for him, but in the interest of full disclosure, this is most likely the only way I’ll be able to get to the polls otherwise after a full work day. As many single moms, I don’t have the luxury of leaving my child with a nanny or a spouse. That’s okay though. It’s all the better for him to experience the process of voting firsthand.
To close this important day, I will be allowing my little one stay up late to watch the voting results come in. I know it might not be the most responsible thing to deviate from the routine of bedtime, but in the bigger picture, witnessing the Presidential election be decided is something my 5-year-old is far more likely to remember than whether or not he was a little tired on November 7, 2012.