Last night in the car my daughter got a bit teary eyed and said, "Mommy, I am sad I need to tell you something." I asked what, expecting that she got in trouble for talking in school (wonder where she gets her penchant for "too many words" ?) And she replied with, "I am sorry, but I want Mitt to win."
I asked her why and she said, "My friends want him to win and they said I am bad if I like Obama."
I carefully chose my words because she is a sensitive child. I told her that I don't dislike Governor Romney. I am certain there are good things about him as a man and as a candidate. As a voter, I get to choose who I think will do a better job moving our country into the direction that I feel it needs to move. I was careful to point out that others get to make that same choice and that I respect their right to choose for themselves. I would prefer that Obama was in office another 4 years, if that doesn't happen our world will not fall apart (we survived Bush!)
Then I began talking about peer pressure. I told her that she needs to make decisions for herself not because others want her to choose a particular thing. I explained that votes can be secret. I explained that I have never known who my mother voted for. She keeps her vote private. She believes that it is no one's business who she casts her vote for. I respect that.
I also explained that this is why kids do not vote. Kids are easily swayed by their peers and the hope is that once someone becomes an adult they may have more of an ability to think for themselves and not worry about that peer pressure.
All being said and done it hurt my heart. It hurt that she felt WRONG for wanting to like Obama. And it hurt my heart that she would be afraid to tell me that she might vote for a candidate other than the one I choose. When my children are grown, I will welcome their vote regardless of the political leaning.
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