No News May Be Good News

The Stir Bloggers
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photo by irishdreaming

If you're home is anything like mine, the news (from some network or another) has been on for nearly two years straight. If that's the case, then the chances are that your kids have been exposed to some news content that might be more than they can handle. The goal is always to cut the TV off or switch the channel before some little person comes barging into the room, but sometimes we fall short.

A great mom-friendly site, talkingwithkids.org, provides the best info I've found on helping kids process the news. Two reminders they provide are key: news reports focus on the unusual, which can be hard for kids to put in perspective. In other words, you may understand that thousands of planes take off daily, but for the child a report of one plane crash can become all flights. Also, the news only reports simple facts--who, what, when, where, why, how. But unfortunately context and history is usually lost--and entirely lost on children.

Here are the 10 straightfoward tips talkingwithkids.org offers that can help you and your child have a better news watching experience. Just the list alone is really helpful, but you should click the above link for more details on how to apply these suggestions in real life.

  • age appropriateness
  • watch with you kids
  • create an open dialogue
  • share your feelings
  • news vs. reality
  • acknowledge fears
  • explore the facts
  • acknowledge complexities
  • select kid friendly sources
  • create a balance

Are you a big news watching family? What do you do to make sure your kids are not overwhelmed by the news?

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