Is my child’s exposure to Bushfire Media coverage causing distress?
Our screens and conversations have been focused on the tragedy that is unfolding across the nation.
We cannot ignore the current Bushfire crisis but we need ensure there is a balance for our children.
Limit the exposure children have to media.
Whilst it is okay that children have knowledge of events unfolding they don’t necessarily understand the nature of the media.
As adults we know that a particular video or interview has been repeated across different forums. Some children are unable to comprehend the media cycle and believe this event is still an immediate threat.
Sit with them when they are watching coverage of the news
Listen to them and acknowledge what they are saying. Normalise their feelings, don’t minimise them. “It’s okay to feel sad about what is happening”
Let them talk and ask questions. These questions may be repetitive as children seek to comprehend the enormity of this disaster.
Your answers should be reassuring but accurate. Offer simple explanations and be honest about the knowledge we have. “These fires are enormous but there are plans to keep people safe”.
Acknowledge that you feel sad about what is happening, but be mindful about the impact of your emotional response on your child
Focus on what we can do to help and acknowledge the positive images of survival, aid and communities coming together
Take a break from the coverage