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How kids absorb politics

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Maria Thalassinou
There is no shielding children from America's political discourse. Presidential flags, chants at sporting events and political attire can be found in all aspects of everyday life.

Children as young as six notice political imagery and language and it has an impact on them.

Billboards, flags, t-shirts and hats showcasing political opinions and euphemisms are hard to avoid.

Meagan Patterson, an associate professor of educational psychology noted that political conversation is witnessed by children in many forms and it does affect them.

Veteran teacher Dan Garrison observed that while politics have been contentious throughout history there has been a change in the discourse. "What's different is the rancor, the lumping of 'my position is right therefore you're a bad person.'"

Bryan Vanosdale is a high school administrator who describes students today as more concerned about an issue than a candidate. Their mindset he said is, "I care about this. I want to see this change. I want to see this get better in my community. Let me try to find someone who can closely align to that."

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
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