Talking to kids about the election and voting process is important and each family has those conversations a bit differently. For Kerry Washington, who has two children with husband Nnamdi Asomugha, it was very important to talk about this year’s election and the importance of voting.
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Washington recently appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! to chat about the election and discuss how she was addressing the historical event with her daughter Isabelle, 6, and son Caleb, 4.
“We do talk about bad guys and good guys. They know what superheroes are. In our house, superheroes are the people who vote and the people who work at the polls and the people who community organize and leave the world a better place,” she told Kimmel. “And bad guys are people who, I mean I haven’t been this specific with them, but who separate families and take away health care.”
Washington has been volunteering to get the word out about voting, traveling across the country in the months leading up to the election. She told Kimmel that her children started asking questions about her trips and she took the opportunity to explain the importance of casting a ballot.
“What I said to them was, ‘We really want to go to these places to help people to know how important their voice is and that they need to vote. Because the reason the person who is in the White House is there now, is because not enough people voted,'” she said. “And our kids were like, ‘Well why didn’t they vote?’ And we said, ‘They didn’t know how much their voice mattered.'”
Washington’s own mom inspired her activism. She shared that her mother used to take her the polling booth with her when she was younger. “I thought she was Oz,” the Scandal star said. “Because she went behind these curtains and she would move levers and I was like, ‘My mom is magic, she has all the power.”
When she turned 18, her family took her out to a celebratory dinner to honor the fact that she could now cast her vote.
While the nation waits for all of the votes to be tallied, Washington encouraged everyone to be patient.
“We have to just wait while the votes are counted,” she said. “It’s really important that we trust our local election officials.”
When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.
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