From deadly tornadoes to school shootings, there are scary events in the news everyday and while they’re hard enough for us to process, it’s that much tougher for our kids. Parents struggle to know when and how to talk to their kids about these events because we don’t want to overload them with information or alarm them.
So to help us know the best way to approach scary news with our kids, RosemarieTruglio of Sesame Workshop and Tara Conley, a media studies professor, suggest these tips.
- Limit their exposure to breaking news.
- With the really big stories, start the conversation during a quiet moment and ask them what they’ve heard and how they’re feeling.
- Give them context and facts to show that most scary news events are rare.
- Show them where this is happening on a map.
- Avoid using labels like “bad guys” when kids ask why something happened.
- Encourage kids to process the story through art, play, or some other creative outlet.