Almost every night when I was growing up we would come together, as a family, and see what was going on in the world. We would watch the nightly news. Not always the most entertaining TV program for a child but there was always something that caught my attention. While I did learn a fair bit from watching the news every night what was really beneficial were the discussions that would sometimes follow. As a child world events can be pretty confusing. Why are these people rioting? Why would the government decide to do that? What is happening to these animals? I learned so much the discussions that resulted through asking these types of questions. Sometimes I got short answers and sometimes the discussions would last all evening. As a result when I got older I think I had a better appreciation of the world around me and what was going on outside my community.
I think it is important to get kids involved in current events but I also feel that it is important that it is done in moderation. Our 3 kids are not at the age that we can discuss many current events but I have been pondering as to how much they need to be exposed to as they get older. News broadcasts can be overwhelmingly negative and they can give children a false impression that there is more wrong with the world than right. I feel that we should not shelter our kids from the realities of the world, instead open their minds to how our wonderfully diverse and complicated our world is. I also feel that the more difficult topics you discuss with kids the easier it will become for them to discuss their problems they may experience in their daily lives.
At FamilyNavigation.com we are going to be looking for interesting news stories that we feel that can be discussed with kids. Not all will be suitable for, or of interest to, younger kids but you can use your discretion. We are going to try to focus on more positive stories, but we will not shy away from negative ones if they have lessons to be learned or opportunities for educational tangents. We will also be trying to find stories of interest from all over the world as this can open their minds up to how diverse and interesting other cultures can be and how everyone may look at the world differently. I would also like to get involved in discussions with other parents on how to talk about certain news topics with kids. A bit of news discussion can provide parents a renewed understanding of the world as seen through children’s eyes as we search for the answers to the multitude of questions that kids throw at us. In moderation current events can be exciting way for kids, and parents, to be enthused about learning in general.
Let us know in the comments section how you make out discussing these sometimes difficult topics with your kids. As well if you hear stories that you think should be posted please send me the link at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will be posting the news stories under the category News for Discussion