Top 5 parenting tips for media literacy in preschoolers

There are five essentials that will help preschoolers become media literate, says Modern Parenthood guest blogger Rebecca Hains, a children's media culture expert at Salem State University, in Salem, Mass.

3. Watch with your child and speak up

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    Kids can strengthen critical thinking skills by processing what they watch. Here, "Little Einsteins," a Disney Channel show, engages viewers by solving puzzles and introducing classical music and fine art.
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Only by talking about what’s on screen will your child develop the critical thinking skills central to media literacy. So, point out things you like and don’t like. Convey your values by using simple declarative statements to share your reactions to what’s on screen. For example:

“I like this part because [reason].”

“I don’t think he should be lying about that.”

“I don’t agree with her decision.”

“No one is listening to her! They should listen to their friend.”

“He’s being greedy! We shouldn’t be greedy like that.”

And ask questions to solicit your child’s opinion. Yes or no questions are OK, but open-ended questions are even better:

“Do you think it’s a good idea for her to do that?”

“Why do you think he is keeping that secret?”

“Uh-oh, what did her mommy say to her earlier? Can you remember what she’s supposed to be doing?”

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