It seems like each time I turn on the news, I am reminded of the deep divisions we face as a country: we are either Republican or Democrat. We are pro or con. We are right or wrong. But I’d like to think that, as moms, we hold dear to at least a few shared beliefs that transcend these divides and bind us together.
Here in the trenches of motherhood, we often hear the rallying cry that “We’re all in this together.” Never has that been more true than when it comes to securing a healthy, safe, and bright future for our children and the planet they are set to inherit.
That’s why, this election season, we’ve partnered with Seventh Generation, a brand our editors love, to bring you all the resources and guidance you need to cast your vote with our kids’ futures at top of mind. As every political pundit has become fond of saying, the stakes this election season could not be higher.
Why voting is more important than ever
We’re in the midst of a climate crisis, and the situation is only growing direr. Today, many of us have small babies and young toddlers. Without meaningful action against climate change, by the time these little ones reach their preteen years in 2030, we will have inflicted irreversible damage on the planet.
Our kids could grow up accustomed to climate-related disasters, suffering from poor air quality, a threatened food supply, heatwave-induced blackouts, greater spread of infectious diseases, and more. This is the stuff of apocalyptic action movies—not the dream I have for my girls as they grow.
I know many of us have made environmentally friendly practices a focus in our homes. But to make real change happen, we need large scale action from our lawmakers. And we need it now. When it comes to protecting the planet for the next generation, we don’t have a moment to lose. Think about it this way, and it’s clear: the health of our planet and, in turn our children, is on the ballot this year. All of us must use our one powerful vote to send a message across the country that the climate crisis is a priority. We owe that much to our children.
How to make a voting plan
Sustainability has always been at the heart of Seventh Generation. That’s why the company has built a comprehensive voter guide to help ensure that every eligible voter can join the fight for a healthier and more equitable future for generations to come. Like so many of us moms, Seventh Generation understands that the choices we make today—both in our homes and in the voting booth—will have far-reaching consequences for our kids.
If there were ever a year to sit out an election, this is not it—there’s too much at stake. Lucky for even the busiest moms among us, Seventh Generation’s Voter Resource Hub makes the entire process straightforward and seriously simple.
If there were ever a year to sit out an election, this is not it—there’s too much at stake.
I signed in with my name, address, and birthdate. Once logged into the hub, I could check my voter registration, register to vote if needed, and check my polling place (a good idea, especially during this pandemic as locations may change in the name of safety). Here, you can also find election rules and information on absentee ballots.
What I love about this resource is that you can check out who will be on your personal ballot when it’s time to cast your vote. You can view all the candidates at once or filter by political party affiliation. You’ll find a bit of information about each candidate and find the links you need to complete your research. Truly, this resource hub is an easy way to make sure you’re prepared and informed when casting your vote. It took all of five minutes and gave me great peace of mind that I’m all set for Election Day.
How to get your kids involved with voting
Honestly, I’m not sure why Election Day is not an official holiday in the United States—because in my house, it certainly feels like one. My 6-year-old daughter and I have been voting together since she was a baby, and there has always been an air of celebration to it. She still has years to go before she can cast a ballot of her own, but there are plenty of ways kids like her can be involved.
My daughter and I have been watching the debates together and each time, I come away amazed at her perceptiveness. Kids understand so much more than we give them credit for. Yes, she’s only a first-grader and has limited knowledge of the government—but she has a keen understanding of what it means to take care of people and why we need policy to do it. Use this moment leading up to the election to talk to your little one about the branches of our government and how our democracy works.
We’re often on the receiving end of the questioning, so it’s fun to turn the tables and pick your kid’s brain for a change. Ask them about what they think. Talk about what issues matter to them and what laws, guidelines, and policies could exist to help make their ideas come to fruition.
Give Them a Role Model
At the end of the day, politicians are people and will never be perfect. But that certainly doesn’t mean you can’t find a strong, kind, and brave role model for your child to aspire to. Particularly for girls and kids in the BIPOC community, it can be life-changing to see people who look like them in places of power.
Vote at Home
I love the idea of showing kids how to use their voice for change by inviting them to vote on topics around your home. You can tally up votes for game night selections, your next shared book, or what to do this weekend. No matter what you’re voting on, inviting your child into the process can help them learn more about what happens in the voting booth.
Research the candidates together and show your little one what it means to be an informed voter. Talk to your child about where each candidate stands on the issues that matter most to you both, and invite your kid to watch as you cast your vote. Our actions often speak louder than words and by showing our kids that we take our civic duty seriously, that value is most likely to stick. In short, if you want to raise a future voter, you have to show them how to let their voice be heard.
There’s no denying that this election will come on the heels of extraordinary hardship. While we juggle everything in isolation, from our work and kids to homeschool or remote learning, we don’t need one more complicated thing to add to our stress loads. That’s where the Seventh Generation Voter Resource Hub comes in handy, making it a streamlined and simple solution for ensuring you have all the information you need come Election Day. With so much on the line, every vote can make an impact.
This post was in partnership with Seventh Generation but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board.