Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre

OP Family Readiness - May 2020

Petawawa Military Family Resource Centre, Welcome Package 2016

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Page 94 of 124

TIPS FOR TALKING WITH KIDS ABOUT THE NEWS It is important to acknowledge that the simple truth is that children have access to much more information and knowledge than previous generations. Children are hearing about the news from friends, at school and even at home and it is important that they consume the information in an age appropriate way. Explore the age appropriateness of the news you allow your children to see. AGE 0-5 These children have limited ability to understand the difference between fantasy of a television show and the reality of the news. In most cases children are likely to be as afraid of what they see or hear on the news as they are of the monsters or other fictional worries. Parents should use caution when allowing preschool children to be exposed to all types of media. Most experts warn that allowing prolonged exposure to news and other media can "desensitize" kids and reduce emotional responses of children. It is strongly recommended that if your child is watching the news that it is done under supervision to allow for discussion over what they are seeing and hearing. AGE 6-10 Children at this age are much more vulnerable to what they see and hear on the news. At this stage of development they have the understanding of what is reality and fantasy however they lack the ability to put the information into perspective. They are no longer worrying about the monsters which may be creeping under their bed as they tend to start worrying about the real dangers in life such as kidnapping, car wrecks, tornadoes and war. At this stage of development it is important that if watching the news you are doing it together so if you see things that are disturbing to your child you can turn it off and provide explanation. Children are not able to understand the frequency and probability of event yet at this age so if they see a disturbing event occur they may begin to believe that these are common occurrences and they are in the media. It is important to help children at this age to develop a realistic sense of danger. AGE 11 & UP Adolescents have a better understanding of fact and fiction and they are beginning to develop their own perspectives and opinions about this on a daily basis. Adolescents are getting constant exposure to events in the world through their friends, school and media. As a parent you can't always be around to monitor their exposure however it is important to keep the lines of communication open and to help clarify any issues or concerns that your child may have about the information they are gathering.

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