For this assignment, we were told to find an article that wasn’t targeting our specific demographic. I stumbled upon an article at Parents.com called, “Engage Your Kids in the Election”, which spoke specifically to parents. The writing was informal and very readable. We were then told to rewrite the articles we found for a different audience, so I ended up making alterations as if it were an article published in a child psychology journal with the target being therapists. Below you will find the first four paragraphs.
Engaging Children in Elections Reveals Positive Psychological Results
The field of child psychology has recently revealed that good citizenship may very well start young. According to Michael J. Berson Ph.D., children are more likely to grow up to become patriotic adults if their parents engage them in presidential elections throughout the formative years of their childhood. We spoke with Dr. Berson, a professor of social science education at the University of South Florida, and he gave us insight into the ways in which parents can condition their children to be invested in the United States’ political system when they get older. He had a number of suggestions that aim to familiarize youth with the process.
Because the Electoral College system can be difficult even for adults to understand, he said that children might become familiar with the basic concept of the popular vote if parents hold a mock vote within their household. Dr. Berson explains that families “can vote on small things, like what to have for dinner that night…the idea is to show them the power of choice, which they will carry with them later in life.” If a child does not “win” a vote, it is the parent’s responsibility to teach them how to campaign for themselves next time.
Among other tips, Dr. Berson advised that parents read to their children about the elections. “One of the best ways to teach your children about the political process is by reading to them. Read biographies of former presidents and don’t forget to read about first ladies as well,” he said. He suggested that depending on the age and literacy level of children, certain books might be more appropriate.
In order to set the right tone for children, Dr. Berson strongly cautioned against exposing children to negative television ads during commercial breaks, for they can send youth the wrong messages. “It’s important for children to have visuals of the candidates,” but these should generally be positively reinforced images to encourage positive thinking about the system.