Talking to Children about Current Events

Updated

With schools reopening and children back in classrooms, it is likely that your student will be hearing more about current events, ranging from Hurricane Ida to Afghanistan. Though we may prefer to shield our children from these news stories, exposure to social and other forms of media nearly guarantees they will learn about certain events. It is essential for us to support our students by reassuring them of their safety and offering information to help them make sense of the world around them.

Here are some recommendations for talking to children about current events:

  • Start a conversation. Children feel safe when the adults around them engage in conversation. Ask open-ended questions and find out what your child already knows so you can learn about any misunderstandings or underlying fears.
  • Encourage your child to ask questions. Answer questions as directly as possible, keeping in mind what is age appropriate for them. Acknowledge when you don’t know the answer or when information is changing.
  • Validate their feelings. Let children know that it is okay to feel sad, scared, curious, etc. in response to current events.
  • Limit media exposure. Very young children, especially, should be protected from video or sound descriptions. Media coverage also can cause adults to become more distressed.
  • Be patient with your child and yourself. During stressful times, everyone may experience challenges with behavior, concentration, and attention. Extra care, attention, and time to connect is important for your entire family. The Evergreen Wellness Website has resources for self-care for students and parents.
  • Get help when needed. Families in the Evergreen School District can access CareSolace for mental health referral assistance.

 
For more information, visit the following websites:
Common Sense Media: News & Media Literacy by age
Nemours: Talking to Kids About the News
APA: Talking about Difficult News

Updates and Support Resources from your

Evergreen Wellness Team

Visit the Evergreen Wellness website for mental health and self care resources for students, parents, and teachers.