Should You Let Your Kids Watch the Presidential Debate? Parents Weigh In

election debate

via Wikipedia

Tonight is the last presidential debate for the 2016 election. It’s definitely going to be full of a lot of tension, wouldn’t you say? Regardless of who you’re voting for, I think everyone can agree that no one knows what to expect–and that literally anything is possible. And for what seems like the first time in recent memory, these presidential debates have proven to be, shall we say, a bit risque, so much so that a lot of parents who would normally encourage their kids to watch are having second thoughts.

Because of this, we were curious if you’re watching this epic debate (epic doesn’t necessarily mean good here, just FYI) with your kids. We asked you on Facebook after the last debate (twice actually!), and this is what you said:

“Absolutely they should watch. It is good for children to know what’s going on in the world. if you think they don’t talk, say, and see things that are worse (than what Trump says) at school, and next year in middle school, you’re in for a rude awakening.”

“Sadly, no. It’s unbelievable what has become of our great country. I am more than sure that chances are Donald will be saying many things in retaliation for the week.”

“Yes, and what a fantastic teaching opportunity and well as a learning in for parents. Know that your children will watch it anyway on the computer if they are interested and maybe read things that you couldn’t explain in live time. Wonderful teaching opportunity. Don’t be afraid. They don’t understand all of it and they don’t need to, and then listen to hear what they already know or assume.”

“Yes, with adults there to explain and help them understand what a debate is about. 10-year-olds have not experienced a debate like this before. They also can learn how to check facts and ask questions. They may even hear some good vocabulary words…some words may not be so good but that is what the adult is there for.”

“I used to teach high school social studies and I used to show the debates. I wouldn’t have shown it this year. I have advised my student teachers not to show it, either. It is a terrible example for our children.”

“Nope. I would give my 10-year-old a brief outline of the facts if there are any debated, and I would omit the trash talk. Even if kids are exposed to trash talk elsewhere, it won’t be in my home and we can have a discussion about why tomorrow night.”

“Yes. It opens a dialog about the actual world we live in and creates many talking points. These candidates are not alone in their views, they are supported by many. Many people who have children and think it is a-OK to behave a certain way. Our kids are already exposed. This is an opportunity to give your perspective and hear theirs. Our children are the future. They need to know. It won’t be easy but the conversations have to happen.”

“Sure, but not 50-year-olds with blood pressure issues.”

“This is his world too–with the potential to have the next president till he is old enough to vote. It’s a wonderful opportunity to really plug in with your kids and let them develop critical thinking, explaining how government works or why an issue is important. Try to not put your political views about one party or candidate over the other. You’ll be surprised at what your child thinks on some of these issues and their world views.”

“I’ll be watching with my 9-year-old daughter. We’ve had discussions about sexual assault because, frankly, she (and her brother) need to know their bodies and others’ deserve respect. If that comes up, she’s already mentally prepared. So perhaps a pre-debate conversation would help. There’s always a remote if things start to go (really) badly…”

What do you think? What are you doing with your kids? Comment below to share your thoughts.

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Kveller Staff

The Kveller staff is made up of the hard-working folks behind your favorite Jewish parenting website, Kveller, of course.

The opinions expressed here are the personal views of the author. Comments are moderated, so use your inside voices, keep your hands to yourself, and no, we're not interested in herbal supplements.

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