SHESPEAKS Your Power to Influence

From the Playground to the Polls

From the Playground to the Polls

Mixing kids and politics may seem like a strange notion to some. Many parents probably don’t talk to their kids about politics because they just don’t think they would be interested. But what if they do care and what if they were given a voice in the public arena? One company that specializes in children’s wear, If Kids Could Vote (IKCV) is taking this cause to the front lines.

Earlier this summer IKCV started a petition to “make 12 the new 18” by urging officials to lower the voting age. The company admits the campaign is mostly in jest, but makes a few good points just the same. It is true that most, if not all, decisions made in the political arena will directly impact our children’s futures. Getting kids more involved in politics when they are young might prove to be invaluable to them as they make decisions growing up.

From onesies to t-shirts, the humorous line of children’s wear IKCV puts out is sure to be a conversation starter for kids and their parents. One of their more popular t-shirts reads “I can’t vote?Please don’t blow it.” with an American flag imprint in the middle.

Another clothing line called Tutti Bella offers a line of political t-shirts for children as well. You can either get a shirt that reads "Lil Republican" or "Lil Democrat" in a tiny size for your child.  These t-shirts come with the iconic elephant and donkey emblem in the center.

Former consultant for UNICEF and founder of If Kids Could Vote, Peter Cenedella, tells the story of how he started the unique kid’s clothing line, “I came home from work one day and my daughter said, ?Daddy, I want to cancel being an animal doctor and run for president!’ That’s when I realized kids and politics could mix in a really hopeful way. Most of all, kids don’t want to be cynical. They want to believe and be engaged, and let’s face it ? American politics could really use an infusion of that kind of youthful attitude. That’s why we started doing this.”

To sign the IKCV petition to “make 12 the new 18” or to check out their clothing line for kids you can visit www.IfKidsCouldVote.com .  And to check out what Tutti Bella has to offer you can visit www.TuttiBella.com .

Have your children expressed any interest in politics yet?

Do you think they would enjoy expressing themselves with political wear, like the t-shirts offered at If Kids Could Vote or Tutti Bella?

Make a Comment

Comment  *
 
 
  • Mom2twoBoys By Mom2twoBoys
    08.12.08  

    If you want to discuss or debate politics lets even the playing field. Let's talk about or look at BOTH sides. Especially where our kids are involved. Do we really want to fill them with one-sided information? I think not. Granted, our kids will probably tend to lean on whichever "side" of the fence we are on, because that's what they will hear the most of. In order to help them become well-rounded individuals who will grow up to think for themselves (not just ingest what is fed to them by society) we need to help them see/hear both sides. This company shows me they are starting out on a decidedly biased foot! They basically only have pro-Obama shirts. Sorry, I'm not interested.

  • shaunana By shaunana
    08.12.08  

    I agree that the site listed is obviously supporting one candidate, but I think the idea of getting kids interested and involved in politics is a good one. Too many adults I know don't know much about politics and are not interested in learning more. Maybe their attitude would be different if they had been engaged at a young age.

  • chellebyerly By chellebyerly
    08.12.08  

    The entire site is nothing but Obama T shirts. And maybe its cause my kids hear me holler at the TV, but even they can listen and hear what is being said. This site is nothing but a poorly masked Democrat/ Obama site. Give me one that says "protect my Heritage, keep the 2nd amendment" or "Taxes hurt me too" and I might be interested. My kids wouldnt wear this stuff, and not just because I wouldnt buy it. They have learned who is behind them and who isnt with their own activities (shooting sports, hunting, 4-H) They come home telling ME stuff. At 8 and 9 they enjoy learning about politics, and want to know which politians (local and not) are for the things they enjoy.

    I agree with mom2twoboys, They dont even the playing feild, they are stumping for their own canidate.

    And having this: "Kids are gonna be here on earth much longer than grownups, so they have that much more time to suffer through the bad decisions grownups make in the voting booth. So when you?re making up your mind which lever to pull or box to check, remember:" written next to nothing but Obama shirts shows me where they stand. Not bipartisian at all.

    and as far as age 12 voting? Please no. Hannah Montana would be running the country! LOL

  • itsraina By itsraina
    08.12.08  

    Hannah Montana for president? That's the scariest thing I've heard in a while!

    I think kids should definitely learn about politics, but not from a t-shirt. Do they even still teach Civics to kids in school?

  • chochie1 By chochie1
    08.13.08  

    I agree with itsraina in terms of Hannah Montana for president! The white house might end up being sparkly and pink!

    But on a more serious note, I do agree teaching your kids about politics is a positive thing, but both sides need to be addressed equally. Most kids are going to go with the majority or whatever your(the parents) beliefs are, and it's important early on to help them think for themselves and make good decisions. It's a good idea, but both sides should be represented.

    And as for the Civics still being taught in schools, around my area it is and I'm in PA.

  • kjam By kjam
    08.13.08  

    Yikes to some of these comments, congrats to the others who are clearly a little less uptight. I believe the point here is not what side of the "playing field" anyone is on but rather the importance of teaching children how invaluable their voices are. So if you don't like or support Obama, make one of your own with our bright shining star of a president on the front.

  • 1hotlilmama By 1hotlilmama
    08.13.08  

    Wow, what a site! I can't believe they don't have anything but Obama! My credit card was out and ready, but they didn't have anything for McCain! What a bummer! I love "protect my Heritage, keep the 2nd amendment"...that's great!

    No way my kids wearing one of those shirts. I have already emailed them and asked where the shirts for the right side are, not just the left. No answer yet!

    Oh well, didn't need to spend the money on more t-shirts anyway.

  • Blackfarm By Blackfarm
    08.13.08  

    What's with that??? NOTHING for any other candidate? I can't believe shespeaks added this site for us to look at when it's so one-sided. No thanks.

  • dlbrangers By dlbrangers
    08.14.08  

    As someone who is interested and active in politics, I had run across that site before. I love the premise of involving children and take my children to participate at KidsVote locations on Election Day.

    I couldn't agree more that our kids need to learn far more about politics, government and history. I always take my children to vote with me and we have discussions about the candidates and their stances. Children certainly have a tendency to lean the same way as their parents (except, maybe in those teenage rebellious years!). That doesn't mean that they will learn all that they should know from their parents and I am absolutely positive that they aren't getting a good background in the schools.

    It has long been my contention, that in order to teach civics appropriately, they must have a solid foundation in US history first. My experience is that history is not being taught as in depth as it should be and, in many cases, it is being taught from the instructor or publisher's opinion. On our summer vacation this year, we chose to drive and listened to Bill Bennett's book, America: The Last Best Hope. If any of you want to read or listen to a great, in depth, fact based presentation of America's history; then I highly suggest this book. Our school systems would serve our kids well to teach from this text.

  • ygarza5 By ygarza5
    08.14.08  

    GREAT IDEA... TEACH KIDS ABOUT POLITICS BUT WHAT A SHAME THAT PARENTS THINK THAT THEIR KIDS HAVE TO BE ON THE SAME SIDE OF THE POLL AS THEM. IT IS ALL TOO ABVIOUS THAT THIS SITE IS GEARED TOWARD PROMOTING OBAMA. A ONE SIDED SITE NOT LETTING PEOPLE PICK. IT ALSO CONFIRMS THAT PEOPLE SEE OBAMA AS A STAR AND NOT A POLITICIAN AND THAT IS A SCARY THOUGHT. I DONT WANT OUR PRESIDENT TO HAVE CELEBRITY STATUS. LOOK AT ALL THE CELEBRITIES.... THEY HAVE NOT BEEN VERY GOOD EXAMPLES TO OUR CHILDREN. PLEASE GIVE YOUR KIDS A CHOICE AND LET THEM DECIDE ON THEIR OWN AS THEY GET OLDER.

More stories like this