“In the same way that we talk about other complex issues, we need to help kids understand the messages and the sound bites that they’re hearing,” mentioned Christia Spears Brown, a developmental psychologist at the University of Kentucky. “They’re interested, but yet there’s gaps in knowledge, and they’re using their own inferences to fill in those gaps.”
Your children additionally could also be getting skewed data from their friends that wants to be corrected, Dr. Deutsch famous. By speaking to them about their misconceptions, you’re not solely constructing their information, but additionally “modeling critical engagement with information,” she mentioned.
This doesn’t imply you want to sit your youngsters down for a proper lecture on U.S. politics. But a minimum of allow them to know that you simply’re there if they’ve any questions. You don’t have to “totally guide the conversation” or “have all the answers,” Dr. Patterson mentioned. “Give them some space to ask questions, to talk about what they’ve heard from other places.”
You may also introduce unbiased readers to trusted information sources in order that they’ll consider essential points and information themselves (we lately purchased my 9-year-old a subscription to The Week Junior, a weekly newsmagazine for teenagers). For youthful youngsters, contemplate studying books to them that introduce political ideas. Dr. Patterson beneficial “Grace for President” by Kelly DiPucchio (which even explains the Electoral College), “One Vote, Two Votes, I Vote, You Vote” by Bonnie Worth and “Vote!” by Eileen Christelow.
You may additionally need to level out that each presidential candidates are white males, as a springboard to discussing sexism and racism. Children discover particulars like this and make inferences from them. When researchers in the 2019 paper requested children why a lady had by no means been president, 27 p.c mentioned that it was as a result of girls lack management abilities, are unqualified or simply don’t need to be president. “We have to replace those explanations with answers about structural sexism and racism,” Dr. Brown mentioned.
As for what to do together with your children on Election Day, it is determined by their age and temperament and what you are feeling comfy with. Dr. Deutsch and Dr. Patterson often encourage mother and father to convey their youngsters with them to vote, although that may not be possible or secure this 12 months. At the very least, you possibly can discuss together with your children about your voting expertise.
As for whether or not to let your children watch election protection on TV, that’s a private determination that is determined by your children, their age, how they could deal with the protection and the way you may deal with the protection. It’s nice in case your children see you having huge feelings, good or unhealthy. But your youngsters will get cues about how to really feel from how you are feeling, and also you don’t need to scare them, Dr. Brown mentioned.
How to Talk About the Election With Your Kids The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Pehal News.