The news is everywhere, and it can be difficult to escape the constant influx of information. While adults may be able to handle the barrage of news, children may not be able to process it as easily. Children are constantly learning and developing, and as they grow, they need guidance to help them understand the world around them. The news can be a source of confusion, anxiety, and even trauma for children. As parents, it is important to understand how to handle the news with children, how it can affect them, and what can be done to mitigate any negative effects.
Midge Leavey, the owner of Miss Midgie’s preschool and the author of the children’s book “The Missing Mommy Cure,” offers her insight on the topic. Leavey has a passion for helping children with mindful education, and her experience provides valuable guidance on how to approach the topic of news with children.
Leavey explains that children aged three to four years old are at a critical point in their brain development, and they are highly susceptible to being traumatized by violent or negative news. Children in this age group do not yet have the cognitive ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not, and they may not understand the context of the news they are exposed to. Leavey notes that even if parents think their children are not paying attention, they may still be absorbing the information, and this can have a lasting impact.
So what can parents do to protect their children from the negative effects of news exposure? One strategy that Leavey recommends is to expose children to positive news before bed. This can help counteract any negative emotions or fears that may have been triggered by negative news. Parents can also talk to their children about the positive things happening in the world and help them develop a more optimistic outlook.
Another approach is to limit a child’s exposure to news altogether. Parents can control what their children see and hear by monitoring what news programs or websites they visit. Children may not understand the context of the news, and they may become confused, anxious, or even frightened by what they see. Limiting a child’s exposure to news can help prevent this.
While limiting exposure to news can be helpful, it is also important to teach children how to interpret news stories. Parents can use news stories as an opportunity to help their children learn critical thinking skills. For older children, parents can use the news to help their children learn about current events, develop an understanding of different perspectives, and even inspire them to consider careers in journalism or related fields.
Leavey suggests that parents should be mindful of what their children are exposed to and should try to offer a positive perspective on the world. Children need to know that the world is not always a scary place and that there is good news to be found. Parents can encourage their children to look for positive stories and to focus on the good things happening in their communities.
Leavey also notes that children are highly influenced by their peers, and it is important for parents to be aware of what their children are talking about with their friends. Children may share news stories or discuss events that they do not fully understand, and this can cause confusion and anxiety. Parents should be ready to address any questions or concerns that their children may have and provide accurate information to help them understand the world around them.
Overall, it is important for parents to be mindful of how the news can affect their children and to take steps to protect them from negative effects. By offering a positive perspective on the world, limiting exposure to negative news, and using news stories as an opportunity to teach critical thinking skills, parents can help their children develop a healthy relationship with the news. By being aware of what their children are exposed to and providing guidance and support, parents can help their children navigate the complexities of the world around them.