How To Talk To Your Kids About Politics As The Race For The White House Gets Wild

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — With the presidential election getting wilder by the day, some parents aren’t sure how to explain to their kids what’s going on.

CBS2’s Cindy Hsu and WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond spoke with parents about what kind of things they share with their children.

“It is hard to explain, and it is hard to think from their perspective like why would anyone get so upset about this?” one mother said.

“I definitely keep it as far away from them as possible,” one dad said. “We avoid it completely, I say it every year, it’s never a good choice between candidates but it seems to somehow get worse.”

Talking politics is big with the Landis family — they take a direct approach.

“They are liable to hear about something anyplace, anywhere, at school, so I would rather take ownership of it and tell them myself,” Judy Landis said.

Both kids said the craziness of the elections has more young people engaged in the process and thinking ahead.

“There’s just so much controversy surrounding both of the main party candidates,” Rachel, 15, said.

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan has been celebrating democracy with a presidential exhibit, and it’s all in bi-partisan fun.

“This has been a unusually wild election season and one of the things we’re trying to do with this exhibit is bring it back to the history,” museum communications director Emily Monroe told Diamond. “What does a president do? Who were these people?”

Leslie Bushara, Deputy Director of Education at the museum, said when talking to kids about the election parents should choose their words wisely. Especially if they’re getting angry and emotional about the campaign.

“Pull back a little bit to take some time to talk with another adult and calm yourself down before you talk with children and really try to present it in the most positive light that you can,” she said.

It’s important to let them know that everyone has a voice, and how all of the election drama should be handled.

“The most important thing is to listen with respect, to share opinions, and to hear what others have to say. And it’s an exciting time,” she said.

The election is getting wild, and kids had their own ideas about what they look for in a president.

“I look for integrity, and people who actually are smart, and they know what they are doing on all topics not just one or two in particular,” Barak Landis said.

“Someone who’s open, understanding, is completely fine with differences, not rude, and different themselves,” Charlotte Sirota said.

And what about the dream of becoming president?

“I would like to be president,” Quentin said, “Everybody gets electronics and they can stay up as long as they want.”

George said he has other plans.

“I’d rather be coding,” he said.

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