If you feel like your teenagers would rather play video games and watch the latest scripted and "reality" television shows than watch and read about the news, then you are not alone. While your teens may enjoy celebrity news and possibly the local news due to the events happening so close to home, it can be difficult to get teens interested in the national news due to their mindset that it is either "boring" or that is just seems so "over their heads." However, encouraging your teens to stay on top of national news can benefit them in many ways and even help them earn better grades in high school and college, especially in government and politics classes.
Do you want your teen to become interested in the national news? Read on to learn three tips to help them make staying on top of national news a habit that they enjoy.
1. Compromise and Let them Use Their Smartphones While Watching the News on Television
Teens today always seem to be "glued" to their smartphones, and you may make them leave them in their bedrooms during family time, such as when you are all eating dinner together. However, if you make them leave their smartphones in their rooms or turn them off during national news programs, watching the shows may feel much more like a "chore" to them than a fun learning experience.
While you know the events being discussed on national television news programs are very important and you likely find them very interesting, your teens will need some time to get to that stage that you may not have entered until you were much older.
Let your teens text or play a game on their smartphone during the news program, and you may find them gradually using it less and less as they begin to learn about what is going on in the country and how it really relates to their everyday lives more than they realize.
2. Let Your Teens Ask as Many Questions as They Want During the Programs
While you may watch the national news every night and feel "caught up" on all of the events that led to the topics currently being discussed on the programs, remember that your teen may have no prior knowledge of these past events. When the host is discussing an important topic that you want to hear every word of and your teen interrupts with a question, you may be tempted to tell them to "hush" for a moment while you listen to the story.
However, you want to encourage your teens to ask questions any time they need more information, because those first questions are signs that they are really listening to what is being said on the news and becoming interested in the stories! After your teen asks a question, turn the television volume down and take time to really explain the answer until they are done asking questions about the topic.
Don't worry that you have to miss out on the important stories being discussed to guide your teen through their "learning curve." If you have a DVR, just set it to record before the program starts, so you can watch it uninterrupted at a later time. Or you can visit the news station's website after the show airs where virtually every topic discussed on the program can be found in full detail.
While teens often naturally enjoy reading and watching celebrity news stories and some even enjoy watching the local news, you should encourage your teen to watch and read about the national news. They may not currently express interest in it due to a belief that it is "over their head" or doesn't really affect their life right now, but once they watch and learn about it a bit, they may begin looking forward to those national news programs and breaking stories on the internet just as much as you do!
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