When will my toddler be able to run for office? A skills breakdown

Does Baby have big dreams? Does they have clear eyes that cut to the heart of political reality? When they say, “No,” when bedtime rolls around, do you hear a yearning for freedom that doesn’t just apply to tonight’s tooth-brushing-and-story-book routine, but is universal? Your little one may very well be the voice of a generation, and if they are, should they really have to wait until they're grown up to start changing the world? Well, should they?

Does they have what it take (yet)?

Skill #1: Public speaking

Baby is almost certainly speaking by now, and even if their vocabulary isn’t all that it could be just yet, they probably make up for it in enthusiasm. Right now they're probably also less self-conscious than they'll ever be again, so public speaking might actually be one of their greatest strengths at this point.

Another thing they might already be good at is memorizing long strings of text. Does Baby have that one picture book they know so well that if you mess up one of the words, they correct you? Well then, maybe they're ready to memorize a campaign speech!

Skill #2: Social skills

Shaking hands, kissing babies (but only when appropriate), recruiting and encouraging volunteers and staffers – there’s no end to the social skills politicians need, and while Baby may have some of them, there’s a good chance that they are still working on others. Young children don’t start to get really good at playing collaboratively, taking turns, and generally being part of a group until they’re a bit closer to age four. So while your toddler may have started breaking out of the parallel play phase enough to begin interacting with other young children – their constituents, if you will – they still have a ways to go before they can start winning hearts and minds.

Skill #3: Reading and writing

Baby’s ideas are good, they're got a platform you can get behind, and they'll surely have a talented speechwriter on their campaign team before they know it. Unfortunately, they'll still need to know how to read those speeches, as well as any number of other important documents, and they'll definitely need to be able to write their name. Most toddlers their age are still at the point where they may know the alphabet song, but the letters mostly make sense to them as strings of sound, so Baby’s literacy might get into the way of their political future.

Skill #4: Age

Alright, so age isn’t exactly a skill, but it is a barrier that might get in the way of Baby’s bid for political power faster than any of their political opinions. Depending on whether they're interested in running for local office first, and what state or country they'd like to represent, their age might be a barrier, no matter how committed they are to the cause. Minimum age requirements for serving in office vary from state to state, and age requirements for national politicians are usually higher than for local politics, but generally, a candidate for office must be a legal adult or be able to vote in a given country.

Skill #5: A grasp of the issues

No matter what office Baby is running for, understanding the problems their constituents face is always going to be one of the most important factors in their fitness for public service. Unfortunately, they are still learning how to see things from other people’s points of view, so unless the people they'll be representing all have their same priorities – and lots of adults don’t seem to care quite as passionately about having to wear socks – they might run into some trouble. Don’t feel too bad if they're not quite there yet, though – some adult politicians never get this one.

So when will Baby be ready to run for office? Only they can answer that, although when they are legally allowed to run for office is a different question. But They can start changing the world any day now!

Get the Ovia Parenting app
Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Apple App Store Get our app at the Google Play Store Get our app at the Google Play Store