How to Talk to Kids About Tragedies in the News
By Dr. Lewis@aspeds.com
October 06, 2017
Tags: News Media  

Our world is a scary place.  We have been bombarded with so much bad news in the last few weeks,  Hurricanes Irma and Maria, the Las Vegas shootings, the North Korea threat, daily violence in our local area.  NO good news on TV, radio, or social media.  What do we tell our kids?

First, if your child asks you about certain events, it is important to ask your child what they have already heard, and what questions they may have.  Be honest with your child and focus on the basics.  Be alert for any misinformation or fears they may have.  Be calm and reassuring about your family's safety.  Spend extra time together to give your child a sense of secuiry.  Talk about ways your family might help.

Young children under age 10-11 should not be allowed to view the media coverage, because it often includes frightening graphic images and sounds.  Discuss and answer questions as they arise.  Older children and teens are more plugged in, but you may want to preview the news and then watch it together.  Give older kids more information as they ask for it, and listen to their opinions about causes, future outcomes, and relief efforts.

Watch for signs of anxiety, stress or sadness.  These might include sleep problems, behavior changes, or physical complaints like headaches or stomach aches.  Call the office if you are concerned or worried.

 

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