I came across a piece by Laura Grace Weldon, author of Free Range Learning: How Homeschooling Changes Everything, about helping your kid become more news savvy on GeekMom.com. There are many good ideas, but you may want to be a little selective. For example, I don’t think I’ll be letting my teens watch The Daily Show or The Colbert Report anytime soon. And a link to this fringe site may have been offered purely for showing kids just how far out there some sources can get.
That said, there are some good ideas. One key point is to be a model of civility.
When people who disagree can engage in conversations with respect and integrity, they’re on the way to creating solutions. This is true in backyard squabbles, regional disputes, and diplomatic negotiations. A key is finding common ground. That happens after every person involved has access to the same information and feels that their input is understood. This is a critical skill to practice. Make it a part of your daily life for smaller issues so you can more easily use it when harder issues arise.
Practical ideas include comparing how different news shows report stories, and subscribing to kid-friendly magazines that include news stories. Another is to teach your child the different kinds of logical fallacies. The simplest suggestion is putting a world map up on a wall; the most involved is hosting an international student.
Read more suggestions, with a discerning eye, here.