The big game promises to bring up themes that are not necessarily appropriate for the youngest viewers of the event.
Although it is a family fun event, the Super Bowl generates a lot of controversy: the famous “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004, the Tom Brady deflated ball scandal, etc.
Also, of course, there will be many good things. In fact, in recent years, the Super Bowl has become much more family-friendly.
Even if the issues that come up at the Super Bowl meeting were out of place, the best defense is always a good offense. In other words, use the topics as a starting point to talk with your children. Here is a summary of some of the most important issues related to Super Bowl and some ideas on how to talk about them with your children:
Kneel down when the hymn plays
Although the National Football League, President Trump, and veteran groups have criticized players for kneeling during the national anthem. The issue is far from resolved. In fact, the gesture has evolved from a protest against police brutality to a problem of freedom of expression.
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With the younger children, offer a very simple explanation and say, “The national anthem is an important song for America. But some players don’t feel that the song represents all Americans. When the song plays, they kneel down so that people pay attention to Americans who are treated unfairly.”
Older children will better grasp the idea of the protest. You can involve them by asking what they think of the kneeling gesture. Is it disrespectful not to stand up during the national anthem? Are the criticisms they receive worth, if sitting down helps bring attention to their cause? If players, who make millions of dollars, don’t mind being fined for sitting, is your protest still significant? For what reasons do you think it’s worth protesting?
From M & Ms to Skittles to the joint Doritos and Mountain Dew commercial, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest junk food promoters.
Sure, the ads are entertaining, and enjoying the special Super Bowl promotions advertises are part of the fun of watching the game. But advertising has a great influence on children’s eating habits, especially when it uses humor. The other tricks also attract children’s attention.
Children under the age of 8 don’t really understand that ads are trying to sell something. They’re still too young to care more about what you say than what television says. Use advertising time to do something active, like jump or run around the block. Say, “I don’t like to watch junk food commercials. I must remind that I must eat healthy and take care of my body.
Older kids will definitely be interested in candy, snack, and soda ads, in part because they want to try them as soon as they’re out of your sight. This is not the day to lecture you on healthy eating. Instead, get them to notice the tricks that advertisers use to make their product or brand look great. Colors, music, celebrities, humor, and even details that hint at things popular with children, like YouTube and other social media. These are used to influence people and get them to buy things.
In 2017, the Super Bowl ads celebrated veterans, immigrants, and pay equality. And this year it’s set to bring out even more political issues.
Among the ads with messages is the commercial for Stella Artois featuring Matt Damon and promoting his cause, water.org, which seeks to bring clean water to people around the world.
Hearing about others in need can make young children feel sad. These types of ads are designed to appeal to the fibers of the heart. But the water.org is commercial, as well as others promoting social issues during the Super Bowl, will offer specific ways to help. Talk to the kids about ways to do something, whether it’s donating to Damon’s cause or to a cause closer to your home.
The same is true for older children who can enjoy addressing a political issue with a clear purpose that they can promote and follow on their social networks. Once they get into a social issue, they may discover that there is much more to it than what is said in a 30-second commercial.