Raising Children in a World of Fake News
In case you haven’t heard, fake news is a multi-million-dollar industry. It’s a real menace our world is faced with and it is important that children are equipped with the skills to sift through fake news and sieve what is true from what is not true.
While you may think that your child is not listening to the news, truth is that they get the news one way or the other; whether it’s from the conversations of adults around them or from their discussions with peers who share what they heard adults say about the news.
So, for children it’s an even tougher position to be in because they receive the fake news in a biased version that reflects the views of the adult from whom they heard it.
The question to ponder then is how to ensure that your child is not forming his thoughts and opinions based on news that is fake, biased, unverified, and unverifiable. I wish I could hand you a hard and fast solution but I can’t. The solution I am proffering will take time and effort.
Teach Your Child to Think: Thinking skills are scarcer today than ever. Most people in the microwave generation, as some like to call this generation of children, consider thinking as tedious, demanding, stretching, and challenging, and so, they avoid it. Teaching your child to think for themselves will keep them from accepting just any news they hear without attempting to learn more about the subject of the news. This leads me to the next point.
Teach Your Child to Ask Questions: To learn more about a news story, children need to learn to ask the right questions to the right people to find the answers they need to gain clarity on what the actual news is, and how best to respond to it. In case you are wondering how fake news concerns your child, ask the children in the south east who ran from soldiers supposedly injecting children with the monkey pox virus. Fake news, definitely, is a menace of our time.
Teach Your Child to Stay Curious: Curiosity keeps us thirsty to know more, to dig deeper, to keep asking questions, and to desire to learn the truth. Curiosity keeps us from taking things at surface value. Instead we want to drill down to the core issues. A curious child is a learning child, so encourage your child’s curiosity and be willing to provide the support they need to find the answers to their questions including questions about issues in the news.