Should you let your children watch the news? No, children under twelve shouldn’t be watching the news. They should be getting any important information from their parents and their teachers who can decide what is important and what is not necessary. Recently there was a news story about a shooting that took place in a Florida airport. Unfortunately, the program my younger daughter was watching was interrupted by the breaking news story and it was impossible for me to intercept it. She was obviously upset and told me that she didn’t want to go on our family vacation to Florida because she was too scared to go to the airport. Parents are faced with these issues on a daily basis and it is how we choose to react to them that will either alleviate or exacerbate our child’s anxiety. I found that it was important to talk to my daughter about the fact that terrible things like this can happen, but they are isolated incidents and that the important thing to focus on were all of the wonderful “helpers.” All of the good people who came to the aid of those in trouble and how quickly those helpers worked to make sure that everyone around them were safe and protected. It’s hard for adults to wrap their minds around tragic events, and even harder for a child who feels that they have no control over their environment. Helping them to focus on the “good” is one way to bring comfort to both us and them.
What do you say to children who want to get involved, i.e. via protest or march? I think it is OK for children to see that their parents are passionate or care about causes that are important to them. However, until children are old enough to fully understand what is happening, they should not be in attendance. There are safety issues to be concerned about and protestors or marchers who may not exhibit behavior suitable for young children.
Danielle Lindner is a children’s book author, educator and founder of The London Day School. She is the creator of Miss Danielle’s Preschoolbuds Books and TV Series which can be seen on Amazon.com and on her YouTube Channel. www.daniellelindner.com.