Tough Conversations: Navigating Current Events with our Children


Whether it is from TV, conversations with peers or in the classroom, on social media or even as content on memes, our children are exposed to current events 24/7. The good, bad, ugly and lately the extremely traumatic.

Parents have every right to simply turn the TV off, set time limits on devices or even access to certain apps on our children’s phones. But it’s not going to prevent our children from hearing or seeing what is happening. In some instances, they may even go searching for content to better understand what is happening in our world. 

We can start here, but we can also have developmentally appropriate conversations with our children about what they are hearing and seeing on the news and in their social media feeds. It is our job to be responsible parents and make sure they are armed with correct and factual information – in dose, and age-appropriate ways.

To help them process current events, begin these conversations with open-ended questions. Ask them about what they know is going on and talk about how they feel about it. Following these steps will help kids find a measure of security and comfort; it will also help establish a bond of trust with you when they know they can come to you for honest conversations about any topic.

Here are some great conversation starters: 

Have you heard about __________ in the news?

What do you think about ________ ?

I heard you mention ____________ . I’m interested to know what you have heard about that.

How did you feel when you saw ___________ on the news?

That was a really hard story to listen to on the news. How did that make you feel?

Who do you consider to be reliable sources to learn about what is going on in the world?

Together, let’s explore some sites online that are appropriate places for you to learn more about _________.

Our kids are going to talk to someone about it, so as the parent, be the first one to start the conversation or the one they come to for facts or follow up questions. Just think of the future conversations this will lead to and how it will strengthen your relationship.


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