With so much negative news being reported in the media, the news can sometimes be a cause for concern and worry – particularly amongst the nation’s youngest. With that in mind, Kristen Harding from childcare agency Tinies has put together the following advice for parents concerned about the effect the news is having on their children.

Control

News is circulated across such a broad range of outlets – be it television, the internet or social media, and almost all of it is aimed at an adult audience. It is important to have control of what news your child sees and where to ensure that the bad news that is being conveyed to children of a young age is being done sensitively. Therefore, parental controls become highly important and can be employed on televisions, on social media and on the internet.

React with caution

When watching the news together, children will look to their parents to gauge how they should be reacting themselves. Therefore it is a good idea to be careful with your own reactions, to prevent your children from overreacting or becoming upset. Keep a level head and stay calm when hearing the latest headlines, and your child will do the same.

Stay Open

Although it can be tempting to do so, ignoring the situation or being reluctant to discuss it will not be of benefit to your child. Don’t hold back when discussing the news, by hearing what you have to say and being told a clear explanation of events, children will often have their minds put at ease. One of the most common ways in which children will hear about the news is via word of mouth at school and on the playground – where the discussed version of events will no doubt have drifted somewhat from the truth. Therefore it will become the responsibility of the parent to ensure their children are correctly informed. By being open and willing to discuss the headlines – it will prevent children’s imaginations from running away with them and building their worries into much bigger issues than they need be!

Contextualise

Children can often overreact to the news due to a lack of awareness of the wider picture, if it will directly affect them and to what extent. By taking it upon yourself to explain the context of the story, children will have a heightened sense of security and control. It is then possible to discuss and explore ways in which you can help people affected and turn the conversation towards the ability of people to group together in the face of adversity which is so often demonstrated!

No two children are the same

Always remember that each child is different. Make sure you find out carefully what affects your own child more deeply, and to what extent. For some children, seeing the headlines is no cause for concern, but others can be affected much more drastically.

In today’s world, the headlines are unavoidable! But by following these steps you are able to have far better control of how your child reacts to them.

Article was written by Kristen Harding from childcare agency Tinies