This year's Presidential race is proving to be challenging to parents whose kids are aware of the not so presidential behavior. Now, as the intensity ramps up even more, how do you help your kids navigate their way through the process? Here's some insight via Common Sense Media.
Elementary School Kids
Seek out kid-friendly news. Turn to news sources designed for kids, such as HTE Kids News, Time for Kids, and Scholastic Kids Press Corps. These news websites break down the events of the day in age-appropriate terms, while avoiding stuff you probably won't want them exposed to.
Decode ads. When a political ad comes on TV or is striped across or down the side of a computer screen, talk to your kid about the claims the ad is making and how music and visuals are used to persuade viewers. Talk about why there are so many negative ads -- and why they work.
Read kid-friendly books about American politics. Check out Bad Kitty for President, which does a surprisingly good job of explaining the U.S. political system. And since candidates are always referring to the founding fathers, find out what they were really like in The Founding Fathers: Those Horse-Ridin', Fiddle-Playin', Book-Readin', Gun-Totin' Gentlemen Who Started America. See Where Was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? and Why Don't You Get a Horse, Sam Adams? for a taste of colonial-era politics.
Keep the bombast at bay. Kids may not understand concepts such as abortion, guns, troops, and immigration, but they can certainly feel the emotion behind the rhetoric. Try to change the station and mute the TV when you can. Kids will pick up on your reactions -- and they sometimes feel at fault for causing them -- so if a candidate makes you mad, explain that the man or woman on TV made you feel that way and why.
For more info and the full article from Regan McMahon at Common Sense Media.