Dear Dr. Day Care
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Dear Dr. Day Care,
I recently voted at the primary and there were children running around the polls. I believe this is an adult event and children should not be allowed to attend. I do not have any children, but I read your articles and thought I would seek your advice. What do you think about children entering the voting polls?
Signed, Avid Voter
Dear Avid Voter,
I am a firm believer of children entering the voting polls with an adult and being well supervised. I feel it represents a good model for children when parents and/or adults bring a child into the voting polls to observe the voting process. Children learn through model behavior and language enrichment. Taking a child to the voting polls takes the fear out of the experience and teaches children the importance of how their parents’ vote counts.
I truly believe all children must be supervised at the polls. I also feel the decision to take a child to the polls must be based on the family’s individual situation and the child’s age and stage of development.
My advice to families with children is to teach them the rules of the polling environment and so they know what is expected of them before they get inside. Children must not run around and disturb the voters. If a child is not ready to act appropriately, a parent needs to wait until the child is ready to follow the rules. An idea to test the situation might be to have two adults take the child to the polls, and if the child is not able to act appropriately, one adult can continue the voting process, and the other adult can take the child out of the building and have their child return when they can handle this new adventure.
A fun family activity you can do before going to the polls with your children is to have a family meeting and talk about who is running for office. Have each member of the family vote and see how their predictions compare to the winners of the election.
Voting time is a great way to teach children about Federal, State, and Local government.
I started taking my children to the polls from the time they were born. It provided a great social experience and most importantly, taught the importance of voting in USA.
Every vote counts, I truly believe this!
“Dr. Day Care” is Mary Ann Shallcross Smith, Ed.D., CEO/President of Child Care Consultants & Facilities Management, Dr. Day Care Learning Center, Kids Klub, and Therapeutic Child Care Services. We educate infant, toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and school-age/camp children.
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