NOW is the time to set up Voting Eligibility for your 18+ Year Old


We’ve talked so much in the past about how to instill in our kids the values and motivations to be successful.  As parents we want our kids to be achievers, take responsibility, and own the world around them.  You’ve worked hard to instill in them a reliable set of practices, habits and commitments that will help carry them through to life, marriage, and maybe grandkids! 

Now comes an important task that you can't do until they are near aged 18.  

Do you remember when they first voted at their high school for class officers?  Or helped a friend run for office?  Hopefully your kids school did that.  I have to tell you that I never had the courage to run for a school office.  I was camera shy in  high school – and here I sit in front of a camera.  Who knew!  I had my finger in many pies, but just not the running for office one.  But my kids did. 

Little did I realize, but after they won (or occasionally lost), more learning, growth, and responsibility took place.  They had to interact with teachers, decide whether or not to encourage the school to put up a new snack machine outside the gym, and had budget meetings.  Who knew the promise of a snack machine would result so many votes.  Cheetos, don't leave home without 'em. 

But as kids hit adult-hood and can really “vote”, we want to encourage that ownership.  

Empowering and teaching our kids to vote might be the only political stand they can ever take.

Part of teaching them how to manage their money and their freedoms will include voting.  Maybe you haven’t yourself been as committed to voting as you’d like. 

In reality, this is a rite of passage, isn’t it.  They are going to be bombarded with ads, phone calls, and maybe even more – especially if they are living or heading to a college campus these days.  It’s a BIG deal when they get to vote in state and national elections for the first time. 

If you were or are like me, you might be unclear as to how to make voting happen for them as they hit voting age, or as they leave home for college or life outside of our influence. 

Extra Bonus:  Free 8-Step Parent Planning Guide for those last important teaching topics.  Click Here.  

(developed by parents previously in your shoes!)

Here are 5 pointers on how build the voting habit:

  1. When they DO vote for the first time, make a big deal about it. It is a big deal.  Odds are they will still be living at home for that first big vote.  Take their pic.  I know, I know, you will embarrass them.  Someday they’ll be glad for that pic.  I took my kids picture just outside the voting building – our local library.  I found out the hard way you can’t take pictures inside the area – at least you can’t hear.  Remember when I said you might embarrass them?  Yep, that was me. 

  2. Many voting places have “sample” ballots that print out all the candidate’s names and potential office. PLUS, it will spell out amendments, bonds, and all manner of things important to your city or state and beyond. Go by early and grab yourself a copy.   Some states might send you one.  It’s worth a check. 

  3. Both you and your child can do research together on those candidates. There are so many online “voter guides” that make their studies and recommendations to voters.  You can google their endorsements, their prior voting records and more.  How great would a discussion make of a particular candidate and their stance on taxes, or the military or whatever the issue of the day might be. 

  4. Allow your child to participate in the research and the discussion. It is their first vote.  What a great way for you to hear of how they are thinking and why.  Pure gold.

  5. Find out the results of each race.  When the elections are over, it always drives me crazy that the smaller, less well-known races don’t get as much coverage in terms of results. Ask your child to research how that issue or that candidate faired.  Driving home the point that each vote – including theirs – does make a difference.  For those smaller races, see if they can locate the difference in #’s of votes between the winner and loser.  Does the phrase “hanging chad” remind us of anything?  Or that history lesson we all learned when the newspapers declared Dewey the winner when in reality, he lost?  Bringing history to life in our kids – that’s a great thing to happen. 

Voting.  What a privilege.  So many countries don’t have the opportunity to vote freely and fairly.  We do and it is an honor fought with blood and tears by our ancestors.  Odds are that your student can remind you of what happened in our fight for freedom from England and taxation without representation.   For those that know Holly and me, you know how much creating habits (yes, you can design and launch habits) means to us. 

Do you want to teach responsible “adulthood” to your child?  Then encourage the habit of voting!

So, you’ve done all you can to instill the habit of voting as they reach voting age.  But what happens and how can they maintain their right to vote as they move out to college or beyond? 

5 Pointers on maintaining their voter eligibility status when they move away:

  1. You can’t vote unless you are registered. Duh, you might be thinking.  But, each state varies on the deadline to register to vote. So look up the deadlines in your child's upcoming area.  

  2. Again, by state, some states allow students to vote with their college address, OR in their home town address. You can only vote in one location.   If they are voting absentee, in other words, mailing a ballot back to their home town, they need to consider the timing involved to get that ballot back in the proper time frame. 

  3. If they are now voting in a different state, the forms of ID acceptable may change. They NEED to find out ahead of time so they are prepared.  There is nothing worse than standing in a long line and then finding out they can’t vote due to lack of ID.   

  1. What if they aren’t sure if they are properly registered to vote? These days, states generally maintain an online database that can be accessed to check. 

  1. Voting early will also vary from state to state. You can also look up on line where to show up to vote.

Are you overwhelmed at all of this?  Online research isn’t all that hard these days to find out what your state or your child’s new state requires.  A great place to start is  You will see all sorts of links BY state of how to locate this information.  So HatTip, ShoutOut to Campus Vote for this tool. 

One of the more fun and innovative things happening on college campuses are competitions to “get out the vote” between one college campus vs. the other.  Do you have a budding politician at your house?  Then they may want to start or participate in one on their campus.  

We hope that helped you in some way as you navigate those last precious parenthood moments.  Though my kids could drive by themselves by the time they could vote, I went with them for one of my last parent moments before they hit college.  I want them to feel the “buy-in” of whom they voted for and I wanted to honor all the brave men and women who came before that allowed me the right to vote. 

Do you have any stories about voting and your nearly flown kids or maybe yourself?  If so, please share them below!   Lets laugh and learn together. 

You CAN Have Success in the Middle of it ALL

Pam and Holly

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PS 2: Free Parent Guide
We've put together a free "8-Step Parent Planning Guide" that is stuffed full of information you might want to teach your "nearly-flown" child.  It's a parent time-saver, and gives you concrete lessons to use at your discretion.  Developed by parents previously in your shoes, we know you will find it super helpful.  
Here's the link for it: 8-Step Parent Planning Guide
Who Is JellyGeneration?

Pam Hardison, MBA, BBA in Finance and Business Education, has created and co-owned a national mail order catalog which at one point was the 21st fastest growing customerbase in the nation.  As a mom of two college-post college daughters, considers it a privilege and to meet other students and parents along the same road.   After teaching high school and college students for years, her commitment to helping them with topics most schools can't cover is the light that drives her.  

Holly Powers, Attorney-At-Law (Jameson & Powers, P.C.) has been actively practicing law since 1985 and is a shareholder with the law firm of Jameson & Powers, P.C.  The firm specializes in transactional law, health care law, and general business law.  Holly has taught students precepts concerning the legal world for over 10 years.  With 4 children, she understands what teens need to know and has a passion to help others faced with teens and aging parents.  



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