Should We Protect Kids From Terrible Stories in the News?

There’s an interesting story on the parenting tech site Quibly, asking if we should protect kids from the terrible stories on the news. It’s interesting debate because the responses are divided on what’s best for kids. Some parents say kids should definitely be protected and others saying exposing kids to realities makes them more sensitive and helps them to make sense of the world. In the light of all the horrible things that have happened this week I am somewhat divided. On the one hand I don’t believe in shielding kids from the realities of life, after all horrible things happen, and nasty people are out there and I feel you have to teach your children to be wary of some situations and people. On the other hand I remember my now grown up god daughter being very traumatized by 9/11 when she was 6 years old. After seeing constant images of the world trade center burning she had nightmares and fears about flying for years. My own 6 year old was equally traumatised when she unexpectedly came downstairs one night while the 10pm news was on and witnessed a violent clip from Syria that involved children. So I think like many things in life, ‘protecting’ your children means using your own judgment to what you think they can handle, what’s age appropriate and how best to talk to them about what they see and witness (after all they see and hear a lot more than we think). The advice from experts is to not let very young children watch the news but watch some of the news with older school age kids. CBBC’s Newsround is great for this. And if your child has seen something or heard something say about the Boston Marathon that frightens them the key is to talk about the good in the story. Such as all the people helping each other, and the ones being brave and the police getting closer to finding the person responsible. But what do you think? Should kids be protected from the terrible stories in the news? Let us know your thoughts.