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Expert explains why you should talk to your kids about politics and how to go about it

Many of us may try to avoid talking politics, but experts say having conversations with your kids before they are old enough to vote is a good idea.

Many of us may try to avoid talking politics, but experts say having conversations with your kids before they are old enough to vote is a good idea.

How do approach political conversations with children and what should you say? 10TV interviewed Dr. Parker Huston, a pediatric psychologist at Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Do we give kids enough credit? 

"It's amazing sometimes how kids can distill down something that we make really complex," Huston said. "Research has shown that kids as young as two or three years old understand that there are people in the community that help make decisions for them."

Why should we talk to children about politics? 

"We don't necessarily want them to vote a certain way or be indoctrinated with any certain political stance, what we want is to raise healthy citizens and good citizens," Huston said. "There's so much information coming at us, and so much politicized information, that it's really difficult to sort through where are my trusted sources? How can I research this myself and come to my own conclusion?"

What are some conversation starters? 

"What would be most important to you if you were the president? How would you make decisions if you were in charge? Why do you think voting may be important? What is a democracy? Why do we vote and why is that important in our country," Huston said.

You can make daily activities into a learning opportunity by showing sometimes votes go your way, sometimes they don't.

"Deciding on a movie to watch amongst the family, you can use that as an analogy of mom and dad want this movie for this reason, one sibling wants this movie, another sibling wants this movie, and you might weigh the pros and cons," he said. "In the end, you may have to vote on which movie to watch and not everyone is going to want the same one."

How can we share our beliefs with our children in a productive way? 

"Here are my beliefs, here is my top priority voting this season, and it's important to me because of this reason," Huston said. "So, it's less of I don't like this other person or I'm angry with this political party, teach them healthy ways to think about politics and voting and as they get older, they'll be healthy citizens themselves."

To learn more about how to talk to your kids about politics, click here.