By Amanda Bauer-Frisch
Are you sick of the political campaign commercials yet?! I know I am! This week we want to take a moment to talk about one of the greatest practices of our adult lives: voting!
And don’t worry, we won’t get "political" and start debating. Instead, we want to take a little bit of time to just reflect on why voting is important not only for us to participate in, but for us to share with our children.
Our founder, Amanda, is passionate about this topic and so this week I asked her to share her passion with us!
An Honest Conversation with Amanda
Why do you think it's important to vote?
Amanda: Voting allows every American (well, almost everyone but that's a topic for a later time) the chance to have a say in how our country operates. As someone who has always considered myself to be an average person, the right to vote feels like a very powerful privilege.
I'm a mom of 3 from rural Wisconsin, our neighbors are cows, and I don't understand how Cryptocurrency works (despite having watched several documentaries about the subject.) And yet, on every voting day, I get to cast my vote, the same as a hedge fund manager in New York City, a prestigious doctor from the Mayo Clinic, and the well educated lawyers in Madison. The right to vote makes me feel equal instead of average.
Do you think parents should talk to their kids about voting?
Amanda: This is a personal decision that is unique to each family. For our family, kids ages 7, 5, & 3, I want them to be aware of the fact that I participate in the election process. I haven't started sharing who I'm voting for and why. To my boys, the political system is as black and white as the well run government portrayed in Paw Patrol. In Adventure Bay, there seems to be an unlimited amount of financial resources and manpower (or puppower.) The reason someone would cast their vote for Mayor Goodway vs Mayor Humdinger is very clear. In reality, sometimes the reasons I vote for a particular candidate are very nuanced.
I don't want my kids to see one candidate as good or bad. I want them to learn how to evaluate the candidates based on the information available. Are they a reasonable person? Can they debate hard subjects in a respectful way AND in a way that creates forward progress. Does this person's words match their actions and are they capable of admitting when they're wrong?
What do you wish more parents considered when voting?
Amanda: Sometimes I feel overwhelmed with all the information and political opinions that are readily available on any news outlet or facebook newsfeed. I also sometimes feel a guilt I can only describe as generational or marital voting expectations. Here's what I mean - I dearly love/d my grandfather, dad, and 2 out of my 3 husbands. I have intimate knowledge of who they vote(d) for and why. And sometimes, I don't agree with them and I vote for the other candidate. For me, this can cause me to feel very conflicted when I cast my vote. I know these men in my life are good, kind, and decent men. I also know they are men with a different set of life experiences than me. I no longer feel the pressure to "vote as my grandpa would have."
I recently read two quotes from Adam Grant, a well known Organizational Psychologist and they really hit home for me as a parent who cares about the future of our political system:
All of this is to say, we hope this November you take a little time to reflect on what you believe, what issues you passionate about and what candidate can help make the changes you dream of come to fruition.
We strive to vote for those candidates we truly resonate with, no matter what party they come from. We encourage you to do the same.
Happy voting everyone!