One woman in Illinois, mom-to-be Galicia Malone, cast her vote this morning despite having contractions five minutes apart. According to NBC Chicago, the 21-year-old arrived at the polls for her first presidential election at 8:30 am, even though her water had already broken. She then gave birth at a local hospital.
Chicago’s Cook County Clerk, David Orr, commended Malone for her effort: “If only all voters showed such determination to vote. What a terrific example she is showing for the next generation, especially her new son or daughter.”
When you head to the polls on November 6, there may be an item on your ballot that you haven’t heard of before. Californian voters will have the option to vote on Proposition 37, a bill that would require foods with genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) to be labeled for consumers. A GMO is a food that has had specific changes to its DNA by genetic engineering techniques. The purpose of these genetic alterations is to make crops more resistant to rain, drought and pests.
Supporters of the bill say that GMO’s have been linked to allergies, organ toxicity and other health problems. Fifty countries in the world, including all of Europe, Japan, India and China, already require labels on GMO’s. Over 400 nationally renowned chefs have signed a petitionin support of the bill saying that consumers should have a right to know if their food has been genetically engineered.
Based on those facts, passing Prop 37 may seem like an easy decision. However, its opponents firmly believe otherwise. According to No Prop 37, GMO’s are products of biotechnology— a safe anti-pesticide process that has been going on for nearly two decades. Opponents believe that by banning the sale of millions of common grocery products unless they are repackaged or made with higher cost ingredients would increase government bureaucracy and taxpayer costs.
Colorado kids of different ages and backgrounds were asked to share the questions they felt presidential candidates Barack Obama and Mitt Romney should answer during their debates. These cute and clever kids also share their favorite hobbies and what they want to be when they grow up. Some of the silly and serious questions these kids want to ask include:
Do you like dinosaurs?
How will you decrease childhood obesity?
Will you make the school year shorter?
How can you help me pay for college?
What are you doing to improve children’s health care?
Parents partnered with The Center for the Next Generation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan effort that aims to help the country come together to create a stronger future for our children. As we gear up for our first presidential debate on October 3—which focuses on domestic policy—we want the candidates to know about parents’ biggest concerns. This infographic spells it out in no uncertain terms.
The big story, of course, is how the recession has impacted all of us. A full 90 percent believe that there aren’t enough jobs that pay enough to support a family. More than a quarter of parents have had to work longer hours (or their partner has) because of the economic downturn. It’s directly affected children, too: 36 percent of parents say that they haven’t been able to afford for their kids to participate in some of the activities their friends participate in.
And in one of the most eye-opening findings, nearly 20 percent of parents said that the recession contributed to their decision not to have another child.
This is surely why two-thirds of parents, when asked to choose between an extra $10,000 per year or an extra hour every day of quality time with their children, opted for the money. It makes you wonder: If you were given the choice, what would you pick?
Here’s hoping that when President Obama and Governor Romney meet in Denver next week, they address the issues that cause so much of the anxiety that goes hand-in-hand with post-recession parenthood.
History is always in the making. Important events that your kids will read about one day are happening now. We offered some tips for raising a good citizen, and this election season is the perfect time to get your kids excited about civics.
We spoke with Michael J. Berson, Ph.D., professor of social science education at the University of South Florida, about ways to engage your children during this exciting time in history.
1. Hold a mock vote at home.
The Electoral College can be difficult even for adults to understand and kids may not be able to grasp the concept of the popular vote. A better way to familiarize kids with the notion of voting is by holding a mock election at home.
“Your family can vote on small things, like what to have for dinner that night,” says Dr. Berson. “The idea is to show them the power of choice, which they will carry with them later in life.”
But what happens when one sibling outvotes the other’s choice of mac ‘n’ cheese for dinner? Show your child how to “campaign” for her favorite meal the next night! This will not only teach her how to react when she don’t get her way, but will also help her understand how to enact positive change for an issue she cares about.
2. Read to your kids about elections
“One of the best ways to teach your children about the political process is by reading to them,” says Dr. Berson. “Read biographies of former presidents and don’t forget to read about first ladies as well.”
We often leave the TV commercials on in the background without thinking about them, but negative political ads could send the wrong message to kids. “It’s important for children to have visuals of the candidates,” says Dr. Berson. “Try muting the TV when negative ads come on and use the visuals to explain in positive terms who the candidate is and what issue the ad is talking about.”
4. Attend political events as a family
This is a great way to for kids to participate in an election, but not all political events are appropriate for children. “Younger children may be frightened by hecklers or negative protestors at speeches and rallies,” says Dr. Berson. “A more developmentally-appropriate option would be to attend a parade that a candidate is in.”
5. Show your patriotism
It may not be appropriate to dress your child in t-shirts or stickers that promote a candidate they are too young to fully understand. Dr. Berson says that a better option is to give your child a flag to wave if you are attending a political event.
6. Keep it positive
Dr. Berson says that it’s good to show children your sense of connection to a particular party or candidate. However, you should always speak respectfully of opposing parties. Teaching your child to respect both sides is a great lesson that will carry over into other relationships in his life.
7. Discuss platforms, not parties
Encourage your child to create his own opinions by talking to him about different sides of issues as opposed to talking about the different parties.
8. Relate the election to your home and community
The best way for kids to understand politics on a national scale is by showing them ways to actively get involved in their home or community. You can start by letting your kids think of ways to improve the area around them by working on community service projects that they are passionate about. Sites like Volunteer Match, Do Something and The Volunteer Family offer great ways to learn about kid-friendly service opportunities in your community.
In the August issue of Parents (on newsstands next week), we asked readers to weigh in on the new Barbie I Can Be…President doll. It’s great that Barbie is tossing her hat in the ring to be the only “female candidate” in this year’s presidential election–and inspiring young girls to set their sights on the White House. But we’re not so sure about the pink-a-licious outfit. What do you think: Is it a wardrobe malfunction or the signature Barbie look that girls know and love? Cast your vote in the comments section below!