Voting is another step in the voyage toward adulthood
It’s been nearly 100 years since women first earned the right to vote. In 2016, my daughters will cast their votes for their first presidential candidate. They have voted in local and state elections before, but at 19, this will be the first time they will have the privilege of voting for the President of the United States.
Wow. That’s a serious responsibility. The triplets were away at school for much of the primary season – disappointing that New Jersey is always at the tail end. We have talked about issues and candidates, but my husband and I have been cautious not to push our own viewpoints or agendas on our daughters. My girls have minds of their own and this is the perfect opportunity for them to express their beliefs.
Civic engagement is an essential part of the American experience and I want my daughters to be active participants in the government that serves them – not passive bystanders.
Whatever choice they make, I will respect it. I have learned over the years that my children make educated decisions. They do not do what’s popular or expected; they do what feels right. I am proud that they view citizenship as a responsibility and that they make careful, deliberate choices after examining information from a variety of sources. Voting is another step in the voyage toward adulthood. Making a decision, sticking by the choice and defending it, and possessing a willingness to accept the consequences are part of the learning curve. It is also a very private experience. My children may tell me whom they choose, but they will not be required to do so. This is a very personal choice and one that must be respected, regardless of whether my husband or I are in accord. In the end, we all hope that our children will use sound judgment in making choices. If we have given them the proper tools, it is reasonable to expect that they will do so. We hope for this in all aspects of their life – not just the voting booth. I will not be able to witness this historic moment in their lives, for they will have to cast their votes via absentee ballots. Which reminds me…I had better get on them about making arrangements. They’re adults, sure, but they are and will always be my little girls.