Top Ten Tips for Rally Goers with Political Kids

Trying to raise political kids?  Trying to raise socially aware, and politically active kids is a challenge. But we try.

This week marked the beginning of the campaign season in the Philippines. In a few months, we’ll be electing a new president, vice president, and other national and local government officials.

This evening, I took Tom and the two boys to their first political rally.

Here are a few things that might help you, if you plan on taking your family to a political sortie too:

  1. Read up on the traffic advisory – There will be road blocks and possible rerouting of traffic. This will allow you to plan your trip to the rally site (in our case, Plaza Quezon). Decide if you will commute, take a car, walk – or just watch it on tv from the comforts of your home. We took our car, parked a few blocks away – close enough for a nice walk, far enough that we won’t have a hard time leaving the area.
  2. Wear comfortable clothes and shoes! Unless you need to be in a specific colour, you can make your toddler wear something you can see easily in a crowd. Jav is three years old and loves to run around – losing him in a sea of people isn’t far from possible.
  3. Bring water! But take note, if the President is going to be there, they may confiscate the bottle of water (among other things). Because I had my babies, the security allowed us to bring in our water (but took the Jollibee iced tea take-out of my cousin).
  4. Bring a cap (because an umbrella can be confiscated too).
  5. Bring extra clothes. In my case, I had extra shirts, pants, and diapers. I used up both my diapers before the night ended.
  6. Bring snacks. I had crackers, bread sticks, and Jollibee takeout in my bag.
  7. Be ready for pushy people. Baby or no baby, some people just want to move closer to the VIPs that are coming in. Bring patience and more of it.
  8. Things (that I bet you didn’t know) You Should Leave Behind if the President is Going to be There:
    1. Umbrella (ours was an FMD umbrella – but we willingly gave it away)
    2. Pen (since we left a little early, we were actually able to claim our pen and utility knife back!)
    3. Utility Knife (Okay, I guess I can understand this one.)
    4. Water (like I mentioned earlier, they were lenient with me because of the babies – you may not be as lucky)
  9. Brief your family – Let them know what to expect. It’s not always a picnic in the park. With proper expectation setting, it could be a fun, new experience.
  10. Go if you believe in the people and the cause. Seriously, bringing little kids to a crazy, crowded place isn’t always fun. You’ve got to really like the people you’ll be seeing. We liked who we saw, we had fun. 🙂

Honestly, I am not sure how much of these kinds of events are actually absorbed and understood by our kids. But exposing them, and giving them all sorts of new experiences have got to have some good impact on them, right?