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By Samantha Cleaver
It’s difficult to predict what will come on the evening news, but exposing kids to current events isn’t necessarily bad, says Eric Rossen, Ph.D., director of professional development and standards at the National Association of School Psychologists. Just make sure you control your child’s interpretation of that event. Before you turn on tonight’s news, read these 10 ways to talk to your kid about current events.
Limit Graphic Images
Explain What Happened
… But Don’t Over-explain
Avoid giving away too much information. If your child sees an image of a wounded soldier returning from the war in Iraq, for example, you can tell her that it’s a soldier who’s going to the hospital to get better. You don’t need to explain where the soldier was, or that our country is at war.
Take Fears Seriously
Be a Calming Influence
Keep Your Schedule
Emphasize the Positive
Be Part of the Solution
In response to any event, from a local emergency or a national crisis, ask your child if she’d like to help. Then, find a way to donate money or time, or raise awareness about a cause. You may not be able to fly a young kid overseas to help build houses, but small local acts of charity event may spark an interest that your child can put into practice as she gets older.
Regardless of what today’s top headline is, don’t try to explain it away. Take the opportunity to encourage your child to build her connection to the world, one newscast at a time.
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