From air strikes in foreign countries to government leaders being on trial to shocking celebrity deaths, recent headlines have been troubling and even hard to comprehend for adults. While today’s events can be hard for adults and parents to understand, it can be even more confusing for kids to wrap their heads around what the news means to them.
Because TV and the internet shrink the world around them, by the time children reach the age of 7 or 8, coverage of a sensational news story can be internalized and become something that might happen to them.
According to KidsHealth.org, here are a few ways you can help your kids understand the news and events happening around them.
1. Talk about the news: To help calm children’s fears about the news, parents should be prepared to deliver the truth, but only as much truth as the child needs to know. The key is to be honest and help kids feel safe.
2. Encourage sharing: Parents should give kids space to share their fears and encourage them to talk openly about what scares them.
3. Thinking it through: Discuss current events with your kids regularly and help them think through stories they see or hear about.
4. Watch with your kids: Watch the news with your kids to filter inappropriate or frightening stories.
5. Turn it off: If you, as an adult or parent, are uncomfortable with the content of the news, turn it off.
6. Context: Put the news you see in context by broadening the discussion from a disturbing news item to a larger conversation about philanthropy, cooperation and ways people cope with hardship.
7. Get out and help: Talk to your kids about what they can do to help after a tragic event.