"Didn't I teach you anything?"
They are the first words out of your mouth when your teen tells you they're volunteering for the other guy's campaign. Or worst, voting for him.
As the election draws near, you may think talking politics is a hopeless cause, but experts say an open dialogue is the best way to help develop your child's critical thinking skills. Use tolerance and basic communication skills to show kids that their opinion matters. Even if it's different from yours.
The following tips are courtesy of Oakland marriage and family therapist Judy Levit, whose children are 29 and 36, as well as CSU Sacramento Emeritus Professor of Communications Barbara O'Connor, director of the school's Institute
(Hector Casanova/The Kansas City Star)
for the Study of Politics and Media. Listen to what your children say while maintaining eye contact. Ask interested questions ("Can you say more about that?"). Encourage them to ask questions. Honor what they think. Try not to think about your rebuttal. Be genuinely present. Remember the point of the discussion is to learn more about who your child is and how and what they think. Be prepared to share your thoughts and points of view, while respecting that your child may have a very different perspective -- that's the challenge. If your child is old enough, provide them with information that they can read that will broaden their views or counter misperceptions. Make it clear that understanding and involvement in democracy are critical.