GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – As the November elections get closer, you’re likely to see more campaign ads. Your children see them too, and many may be difficult to explain.
dr Kellen Stilwella fellow physician at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services near Grand Rapids, explained that children aren’t always able to understand the nuances and arguments behind the messages.
“I think as adults we might understand why an ad might say something negative about the other person, but I don’t think kids understand it that way, so it could create a lot of confusion and stress in those kinds of situations,” he said Stilwell explained. “I think the best thing we can do as adults is to kind of control that space, and when they see those commercials, discuss what’s going on.”
He added that it’s important for parents to pay attention to how children react to the advertisements. Make sure they know you’re always there to listen and answer questions. On tough issues like abortion, Stilwell said that depending on your age, you might not need to go into all the details.
“Especially for the very little ones, in terms of the Prop 3 piece, I think that… share what you know in a developmentally appropriate way. So for the really young ones, (saying that) it’s about health care, and I’ll leave it at that because I think that would probably satisfy curiosity. As they grow and change and mature, it could become kind of a different conversation where you talk more about your own views and the nuances of what’s going on with the legislation.”
Although technology is a helpful resource, Stilwell believes the most valuable thing parents can do to protect children is to act as custodians of technology, including setting boundaries and creating a safe space for its use.
https://www.woodtv.com/news/elections/how-to-talk-with-your-kids-about-campaign-ads/ How to talk to your kids about political advertising