On Friday night, my husband turned on the coverage of the Paris attacks while we waited for supper to cook.
Later, at supper, I said, “That’s just so sad about Paris. Those poor people.”
My son looked at me and said, “Those people who died?”
My husband and I looked at each other, unsure how much my son had absorbed from the news coverage playing in the next room.
“Yes, ” I said.
My son looked thoughtful for a moment. “They needed a super hero,” he finally said.
I almost started to cry.
I’m wondering as a parent: How much of the news do you share with your kids? Do you watch the news with your kids around?
I struggle with this. My son is five now and, while he doesn’t understand everything, he understands a lot. I don’t want to shield him from the world but, at the same time, I’m not ready to explain everything. And I know he’s not ready to hear and see everything.
So, when I saw a Mr. Rogers quote floating around Facebook this morning, I thought, “What a simple and smart way it is to talk to your kids about news.”
I think this is the best advice I’ve seen. While it’s inevitable my kids will see news images, I like the idea of focusing on the helpers. To ask questions like, “What do you think we could do to help?”. I’m sure I’ll be amazed by some of the answers I’ll be given. Because after all, in the words of Nelson Mandela, “Love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
What do you think? What’s your approach when talking to your kids about the news?
Header image via Flickr