Need input: can the world news cause anxiety in children?

Stacy - posted on 03/03/2015 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I need some help. I've recently been wondering whether my kids (under 10 yrs old) should even be allowed to watch the news. I know it's not R-rated movies we're talking about here, but it feels pretty similar some times!

Tsunami footage, terrorist attacks, people doing bad thinks. I have to believe this causes anxiety for our kids? What do kids think? Or do you think they see it as fake?

I'm also writing an article about this for my blog — I would love your recommendations and honest feedback. And let me know whether or not you'd like a mention in the article or just remain anonymous.

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Jodi - posted on 03/04/2015

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I think it is important for children to understand that bad things happen, and learn to be able to talk about them. However, I don't think they need to sit down and watch the news, and I don't think we should have the news on 24/7. We watch a news bulletin a couple of times a day in our house, and the children are usually around for it. They do understand it is news and that it is real, but I have always encouraged them to ask questions if they have concerns, and I address their concerns calmly and with the logic that these things are not commonplace, which is WHY it is news. They need to understand that news is just that - its there because it is rare and therefore news. My children are perfectly well adjusted kids, the youngest of which is now 10. None of them suffer anxiety about the world around them. But also, none of them are into drugs, raging partying until they are fall down drunk, random sex, and so on - they understand actions and consequences.

The important part is to actually have the discussions with them. Don't just let them watch the news stories but actually become informed yourself so you can have the conversations and use it as a teaching tool.

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Stacy - posted on 03/05/2015

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Thanks a lot Jodi. That's really helpful. I like your emphasis on the need for having open discussions with them, and providing encouragement.

I would love to quote you in my article if you wouldn't mind! And obviously you'd be more than welcome to share it however you see fit :)

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