• Deirdre Brandner

When News Is Confronting - What Should I Be Telling My Children?

Some images can be very confronting, and your child may not be at the level of psychological development to deal with what they are viewing. It is recommended that children under 10 years of age should view the news with an adult. Given the way media infiltrates so many aspects of our lives, there is every chance your child will be exposed to news items and images.

Images say much more, so if your child is going to view images of what is happening, they need to be able to emotionally deal with that information. If they are very young or you believe they would find the images disturbing, have a simple conversation using facts. It can be easier to talk with your child about what is happening using non-emotional language. We can use this as an opportunity to ask about how they are feeling about the situation.

Don’t be afraid to ask if what they are watching has bothered them? This is also a very good opportunity to encourage children to share worries or fears with family.

Ask them if they have any questions. Children may be concerned this could happen to them in Australia. Others may be concerned about what will happen to the women and children. Some may want to understand how or why this has happened. Provide simple non-emotional non-judgemental responses. Admit if you don’t know all the answers or offer to find out more information. As a parent, it is okay for us to admit when we don’t know something.

Children experience real empathy towards those suffering in Afghanistan, so anything they can do to help makes them feel better. Explain what organisations and governments around the world are doing to help. Work with your child to find a way to aid these people in need.

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