Parent Tip Tuesday-Talking to Your Kids About the Election
Nearly every child knows today is election day. It dominates adult conversations and TV ad time. But our children's ability to process what's going on varies considerably based on their age.
Here are a few tips, broken down by age groups, from Common Sense Media on what parents can do to help their kids navigate election day.
Elementary School Kids
Talk about ads- Talk to your child about ads' content and give them the context they can't get in a commercial. Teach them not everything they see or hear is accurate.
Watch for campaign-inspired bullying-Many political ads are ugly and don't model the behavior we are teaching our kids. Explain that name-calling and bullying aren't acceptable. Teach kids how to disagree respectfully.
Middle School Kids
Talk about fear-mongering- Political season is filled with outlandish statements designed to cause scary emotions. Explain to your children that political ads frequently target emotion to sway your decision making. Discuss the importance of fact-checking statements and learning the difference between outlandish statements and meaningful policy discussions.
Tackle tough topics- Politicians will bring up anything about their opponent to gain an advantage. Many of these topics can lead to conversations earlier than you wanted to address them with your child. After discussing the unpleasant topic, ask your child about a couple of specific policy positions for each candidate. This will help them focus on the policy difference between the two candidates.
High School Kids
Watch the news together- Compare the media coverage on the different networks. Discuss the difference in content and how to fact check information on their own.
Discuss the role of social media in elections-Ask them about what they've seen on social media sites. Do they follow any politicians on social media? Ask if it's risky for them to post political stuff online if their friends disagree.
Election day is a great day for us to exercise our civic duty as Americans. Let's talk to our kids and teach them how to navigate through the onslaught of information.
To read the entire Common Sense Media Article with 17 tips, you can visit their website.
Parent Tip Tuesday is a weekly series where the Parker Police Department talks about an issue involving parents and children. Topics will range from the latest apps and technology to building resiliency in your children. Our goal is to give parents five minutes' worth of information every week to educate them about new issues their children may face. Please comment below if there are topics that you would like to see us cover.