With the start of the 112th Congress on yesterday, now is a good time to speak to your teen about voting. Leading by example has become a convenient cliche`, but in the case of voting it is ever so true. A parent’s mere mention of voting around election time doesn’t automatically rub off on youth. And don’t take for granted how impressionable your teen is when it comes to seeing how you operate in society. Do you just cast votes or do you study the candidates and the issues? Are you stuck on political party loyalty or do you cross the line to take a stand for what you believe is important for you and your family’s future? Do you allow other individuals in leadership roles or positions of authority to dictate who you should vote for? There are many factors to consider during elections. You have to take it seriously in order to guide the less knowledgeable – objectively. No matter what your education level is, if you are of legal age and citizenship status you can vote. Certain criminal stipulations may prohibit voting.
2012 is literally around the corner. Your 16 and 17 year old will be eligible to vote in the national elections.
Teens have voted before.
As early as middle school and through to high school, students are introduced to voting. There are many campaigns that they participate in like Student Body Council, Homecoming and Prom royalty, and a variety of campus clubs and organizations. They listen to fellow student’s campaign pitches, and they see the posters and banners around the campus of ambitious candidates. Even in the home families sometimes vote on where to take a vacation, whether to purchase a pet or what restaurant to go out to for a meal. Your near young adult should know that their vote counted and if what they voted for did not win they did make their voice heard and it will become louder during every election that they participate in.
Making bold assertions.
In today’s electronic age candidates can be reached through blogs, Twitter, email, Face Book, other electronic social networks and the good old fashion way – by telephone. In fact, telephone is a forgotten and seldom used tool. Though sending electronic messages requires a degree of articulation, the telephone will usually result in immediate feedback from a live voice.
Political candidates have realized that young voters are their safety net. Youth can call a campaign office and pretty much ask to speak to the candidate if that candidate wants the vote. There are cases where the candidate actually called the teen back.
Voting is the gateway to peace and prosperity and should not be the tool to manufacture discrimination and oppression. Usher your teen into the world of opportunity by understanding the significance in voting.