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Talking with Kids about News

July 25, 2012 5:03pm (EDT)
GPB Kids programming for safe, educational TV time
GPB Kids programming for safe, educational TV time

The News is not always kid-friendly. But, that doesn’t mean that our kids aren’t still exposed to it. Whether we leave it on while prepping dinner and the kids play or they overhear adults in the checkout line discussing current events, children are likely hearing about the world around them. Imagine how scary it would be as a child to hear snippets, or even the whole story, of the recent shooting in Colorado.

We were vacationing in Savannah when the TV in the hotel’s dining area began the non-stop coverage. My first reaction was shock, silent, terrified shock. Then, I went into hyper-let’s-distract-our-kid-from-this mode.

In the event that your children are asking questions or you know that they have been subject to hearing about this recent tragedy, we want to remind you about a resource available on PBS Parents, Talking with Kids about News.

Here are a few pointers from the website:
 Find out what your child knows about the news.
 Listen to what your child tells you.
 Ask a follow-up question.
 Shield children under age eight from disturbing news.
 Avoid repeated TV viewings of the same news event.
 Monitor older children's exposure to the news.
 Develop an ongoing dialogue with your child about what's happening in the world.

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