How Parents Think

What do parents need in a news-ish publication for kids? One parent said:

“I sometimes feel that I don’t have a broad enough knowledge base to give a more thorough explanation of the news articles. They often raise questions that I’m unable to answer. I understand and appreciate the brevity of the articles in the lower grades, but I feel we don’t have the whole picture.”

The first time we subscribed to Early Edition (three years ago), I read the articles to my then-5 year-old and was surprised (in a good way) that a news mag for young children was informing ME of news. It didn’t particularly bother me that I didn’t “have the whole picture,” because I didn’t keep up with news on my own. I began leaning on my kids’ news publications to become my informant as well.

This could be okay for parents with young kids who might not question the content too much, but what changes as they grow? The stories become more complex in the older editions of the magazines and kids, of course, have better developed reasoning skills. If parents (like I tended to be) haven’t kept up with the news on their own, they might be in conversational trouble if they don’t know what’s going on outside of the kids’ magazines.

So what do parents need? Would more developed articles on the stories (written for adults), available on the Internet be helpful? Do you think they would be utilized? If not the Internet, then what?



Filed under How Kids Think

3 responses to “How Parents Think

  1. Lorri

    I think if I am in the midst of reading an article to my children (usually upstairs) – I won’t want to be running to my computer (downstairs) to get additional information. I guess I could read the online articles before reading or having my children read the children’s articles.

    I know some magazines have a “pull out section” in the middle of the magazine. This might be helpful. Mom/dad could either read it beforehand or keep it on hand for reference while reading the children’s articles. I favor a “pull out section” in case there is something in that section I don’t want my kids reading on their own.

    You could include internet references in the “pull out section”.

  2. kim

    I dont think it is the lack of I dont know that a supplemental publication or pullout would help.

    If parents dont want to be caught off guard, they need to keep up with information, and there are plenty of great places to get it.

    If in the middle of reading a news story to my son, I realize that I dont know enough about it myself, and feel ill equiped to handle questions…I will just tell my son, “I dont know, Im gonna have to look up some info on that.” or when appropriate, “I dont know, let’s go find out together and look it up.”

    Granted the time to look it up may be at a later date, which I dont see as a problem.

    I dont think there is anything wrong with not having all the answers, and I think it is a good example to teach our children that we need to seek out information, learning is forever 🙂

  3. kristen

    I like the idea of a pull-out section AND an online resource. Sometimes you want the ability to read more and other times you just need the bare minimum.

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