Why Do Children Always Try to Vote Third Party?

Here in Vermont it is election day. I just voted in the primaries, although I did not get a cool “I Voted” sticker, which was disappointing. We should give as much love to the primaries as we do the general election! There wasn’t even a bake sale today! How are we going to get people to vote with no stickers and no snacks? Crazy. Anyway, it made me stop to think about the political structure of the household, and how kids are always throwing away their voices on silly protest votes. Does the system need to be changed? Maybe. I thought so when I was a kid. But on the other hand, was I ever going to actually change it by voting third party? Let’s look at a few examples.

Example #1

My wife and I cannot decide what to eat for dinner. We make the stupid mistake of asking the children their opinion. I ask them whether they would rather have spaghetti or chicken. “Burger King!” they shout out gleefully. No, no, I explain calmly. That is not one of the choices. We can either have chicken with rice, or spaghetti with garlic bread. “BURGER KING! BURGER KING! BURGER KING!” Fine. Spaghetti it is.

Example #2

Toy Grammy is leaving to go home after a visit. I need to go get food at the store for dinner. Probably chicken and/or spaghetti. I ask the children, do they want to come to the store with me, or stay home with Mommy? “Go with Grammy!” No, Grammy is not coming to the store, she is going home, to her house, far away. You can either come to the store with me, or stay home. “Go to Grammy’s house!” Get your shoes on. You’re coming with me. I don’t care. You are not going in Grammy’s car.

Example #3

We have stopped for gas. We are a long way from dinner. I tell the kids to pick out a snack from the convenience store. They come back with bags of chips. No, I explain, we are not eating chips right now. They can have either a meat stick, or a granola bar, or maybe even some sunflower seeds or mixed nuts. “NO! CHIPS!” they shout angrily at me, as if shouting angrily was going to affect the outcome of the election. Sorry kids, you’re not getting chips. Choose something else. “CHIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPSSSSS!” Okay, fine, now you are not getting anything! Go sit in the car and starve until dinner.

Sure, the third party vote made you feel better, but did it actually make things better for you? All it did was to make people annoyed at you. And you hate spaghetti. And I gave you the choice of chicken, which you think is fine! And all you had to do was say “chicken” and I would have given it to you. But no, it was Burger King or Bust. And now you are staring at your plate of uneaten spaghetti wishing you could be eating anything else.

Kids. Listen to me. I know it is unfair. The system is rigged in your parents’ favor. They are both completely corrupt and mad with power. I am not questioning that. But listen, you are not going to Grammy’s house. You KNOW you are not going to Grammy’s house. You have school tomorrow. So why not think about whether or not you want to go to the store, or stay home? Because those are your only two options. You should probably pick one of them. Because choosing note to vote means that someone else is going to decide for you, and you might not like the result. You might not like it even more than you don’t like not getting chips.

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Posted in Bad Parenting, Parenting, Voting.

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