Sunday, June 04, 2017

Children and Bad News: advice for helping children deal with world events

Waking up to news about another terror attack in London, I thought I would send out this collection of resources to help with conversations around scary events on the news.

First, there is an up-to-date excellent article and accompanying video written by BBC's Newsround (their childrens' news outlet) just after the Manchester bombing. It is comforting and practical, and aimed at the child. I listed this article first as I found it so effective in putting bad news in the context of your own life.

Next, here is a clip featuring Mr Rogers, taken from his American children's show, aimed at young children. His references are dated (Lennon, Reagan) but his advice is solid gold about what to do when encountering news about bad people and violent events.

On the PBS Parents site there is an article aimed at grown-ups about how to help children deal with scary news:

This last link is aimed at adults though could be of use when discussing bad news with children. The anxiety caused by bad news and the constant negative 24-hour news cycle can have a serious toll on our mental health. Here is an article about handling that anxiety about the bad events we see on the news:
Fred Rogers often told this story about when he was a boy and would see scary things on the news: “My mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.”

I hope these links can be helpful in your classrooms.