7 Ways A Presidential Debate Is Like Having Kids

by Julie Scagell
Originally Published: 

In fact, here are seven more ways watching a Presidential debate is like parenting:

1. There Is A Lot Of Lying

No matter your political affiliation, all your candidates lie. I myself could be awarded a PhD in lying since having children. Lying can be one of the most enjoyable parts of parenting children of a certain age, in fact. I regularly find myself saying, “Oh, sorry kiddo, the park is closed today,” or, “I don’t know why the Tooth Fairy didn’t leave you money this time. Maybe because you hit your brother yesterday.”

(Gently places wine bottle in recycling bin.)

2. Like Children, The Candidates Are Bad Listeners

It’s rare to see Presidential hopefuls actually listen to their opponents. Typically, they are shuffling through papers, ready to dispute whatever claims are being thrown at them, instead. It feels eerily similar to asking children 157 times to pick up their clothes, brush their teeth, and for goodness sake, please get all of your pee in the toilet this time.

3. There Is A Lot Of Finger Pointing

There seems to be a lot of pointing during debates, mostly in an accusatory fashion. This also happens frequently with children. Pointing up the stairs means “Get to your room!” Directly at your child means “Don’t you take that tone with me!” If my middle finger is pointed at your back? Chances are you are my preteen daughter.

4. They Like To Dodge Direct Questions

Candidates are masters at side-stepping. They are almost as highly trained at eluding as a parent. Observe a mother as she bobs and weaves her way through various conversations such as, “Is Santa Claus real?” Or, “Do you know where my recorder is?” I feel like Bill Clinton circa 1998.

5. They Can Bore You to Tears

I don’t know about you, but 90 percent of these debates are a snoozefest of empty promises and backtracking. It feels oddly similar to playing hide-and-seek or watching Dora the Explorer or repeating yourself 800 times a day. Sign me up to change 1,000 dirty diapers over listening to my child explain the merits of Spiderman vs. Superman underwear. Kiddo, I don’t give a SHIT, pick one out and go to sleep.

6. They’re Very Condescending

It seems these candidates spend an unhealthy amount of time smiling at their opponent, mostly in a patronizing manner. Parents also have to smile at their kids. A lot. You have to smile at them when you’re happy, when you’re sad, when they are participating in any activity that warrants applause, and especially when they lose their minds in public. A smile is a helpful weapon used to fool bystanders into believing you aren’t going to strangle your children with your bare hands.

7. So Many Cringeworthy Moments

In every debate (and EVERY SINGLE Miss America pageant), there are those moments that make you want to hide your head under a pillow. As any parent knows, this happens regularly with children too. Just last week, an adorable woman with pink hair said hello to my toddler. He politely said hello back and then asked her if she was a wizard.

Luckily, whatever your political affiliation, after eight years pass, America gets another chance to right the wrongs of the former term. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the same could be said for raising children? I, for one, could use a do-over on the sex talk.

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