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Explaining Monicagate To Kids

As the Monica Lewinksy investigation escalates, Americans are realizing that the age of innocence is a lot younger than it used to be. CBS News Correspondent Jeffrey Kofman reports.

Asked what an affair is, one child answered to the best of his knowledge.

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"It's something that adults are supposed to do when they are married," said Kenny Fisch.

It's enough to make some parents blush.

"I'm embarrassed," said Sharon Daniel, a mother. "I really don't think my children should know stuff like this."

The reality is that much of what is aimed at adults is getting through to children in this era of media saturation -- and all-Monica-all-the-time programming.

Some parents are taking drastic measures.

"Frankly, I don't let them watch the news," said one parent, Kate McDonough.

However, psychologists say this news event could be an opportunity for parents to talk to their kids.

Child psychologist Mark Stein says children care more about "concepts like trust and relationships and affection," while they are less interested in the specific details.
Stein suggests that parents use terms that their children can understand.

One 11-year-old gave CBS News firsthand advice on how parents should tell their children about the Lewinsky case.

"Just tell them if they ask questions about it honestly," said Elizabeth Pierotti. "Don't like try and like say nothing happened about it, because children should know."

Reported by Jeffrey Kofman

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