Tuesday 17 November 2015


Sometimes you hear or read news that stops you in your tracks, and makes your heart sink. This is what happened over the weekend on learning of the latest terrorism attacks in Paris.

At these times I often find myself needing to share the news with someone - perhaps in an attempt to understand it better. Or just unburden myself.

While the children are often the ones closest to me, I want to be considered rather than impulsive with what I share or how I react.

However, when tragedy strikes - whether on the news, or closer to home - I sometimes want to find ways to discuss matters with them. Obviously, the four and two year old are too young to understand many concepts. But I do believe that we can make a difference by teaching our children how to love and have empathy and be compassionate.

The seven-year-old's level of knowledge and understanding about the world we live in is growing all of the time. On the simplest level, he is interested in the environment and health. Ways that we can make the world, and ourselves, better. Global events are another matter, though.

However, following the Syrian refugee crisis I did want to share with him a positive news story out of the events. I showed him the video of German people clapping and welcoming one group of refugees into their country.

After the news in Paris, I wanted to share with him the peace symbol, and what it means. As it turns out, he was more interested in building a teepee in the garden. The timing was not right. But the intention remains.

Whenever we have discussed global matters with our son, we talk about research, and how it changes all of the time. And how different people can have different view points on a particular matter. We don't want him to see the world in black and white. And we want him to question what facts and information is presented to him. An early form of analytical thinking, in a way.

Overall, though, our children aren't exposed to the news. We don't have a television, and don't listen to the radio or receive newspaper deliveries anymore. As adults and parents, we digest news out of sight from the children - generally after bedtime.

In a quest to find some guidelines on what is appropriate for different age categories, I found this article by PBS, which was an interesting read.

Do you watch or share news with your children? What guidelines do you follow? Have you discussed any recent global events - such as the Paris terrorism attacks or the Syrian refugee crisis?

images the indigo crew

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