There is so much going on in the world at the moment so should we shield our children from the news?!
It might be easier said than done but can it actually be done and is a good idea? Do we need to hide the world news from our children?
Over the last 18 months, this is a question that I imagine parents all over the place have been asking themselves. Everyday there seems to be something else happening in the world and even as adults, it is alot to take in. The news can be hard to watch. The world can be a scary. We can’t always hide everything from our children and mine have most definitely seen me get upset about world events. Which is where the question of should we shield them from the news comes in.
I thought I would ask fellow parent bloggers what they thought on the matter to get a good range of answers.
I think there’s a huge difference hiding them from it completely and tweaking it so it’s suitable for their ears. During the early months of Covid, I was careful to be factual with the girls about the pandemic yet did not wish to add to their anxieties. A child-friendly (for want of a better word) version of the news is important. It supports them to understand that everything isn’t rosy, but likewise, good-news stories are fantastic to share with them, too. – Blossom Education
A yes from me. I think that the words murder, rape, terrorism, global pandemic and abuse etc are such big things to explain to children. Teaching them between right and wrong for different situations is much better than scaring them. – Baby Not Included
I think we, as adults should keep up to date with the news and then relay to our children in a way that informs them of what is happening to other people in the world… But doesn’t overwhelm or scare them.
I think it’s important that they understand that there is life outside of their circle, but by drip feeding information.
Lynne – The Swan Effect Mum
I think we should sugar coat it slightly for them. They have the right to know if they ask questions. My son is 11 and is always asking about stuff that happens in the world. I’ve learnt to explain it to him in a way he will understand but not be upset by it all. – Sarahlou Writes
I do limit what my boys see as I sometimes think it is too scary or worrying for them to deal with. We don’t have a news ban in the house but if a story comes on that might worry them I will switch over. If they want to know anything I will explain to them in the best way I can. It’s a balance between not completely sheltering them from the world but protecting them from certain things that may frighten or worry them. – Rice Cakes and Raisins
No. But you need to recognise what your child is capable of hearing without becoming anxious or traumatised. This is why there are programmes like Newsround which are age appropriate, and children’s newspapers.
Having said that our son has always been in the room during the 6 o’clock news. When younger he’d have been oblivious or not understood, if he’s not interested he’ll leave the room. Sometimes something will catch his attention. He’s now 10 and watches it less, but we’ve always been open about answering questions in an age specific way. We’ve never censored what’s been on, but I’ve been able to answer questions, avoiding too gruesome details. But he’s fairly mature, understands a lot about current affairs and is big on fair and just behaviour, and legal or political ramifications. They often discuss news topics in school, I’d rather he’s understood things with us first, than going in cold at school. He’s never shown any worrying response to watching news – but there’s a lot of films that he’s too scared of which some parents let their much younger children watch. – Bubbablue and Me
Ideally yes, as I want to shelter them for as long as I can. I want them to keep their innocence for as long as possible. But realistically I think it’s a no. When the Manchester Arena bombing occurred it was quite local to us and all over the local radio and TV as you would expect. It didn’t occur to us at the time to discuss it with the kids who were all at primary school. However they heard of it at school and there was so much misinformation that actually made a tragic situation even worse. We discussed what happened and answered their questions. Its a hard discussion to have, especially when they ask “but why would anyone do that?” but it’s important to discuss it. We now discuss big news events in a way they can understand but not be too frightened by. I never want them to feel we can’t discuss things that worry them. – Mighty Mama Bear’s Book Blog
In general I say no however my son gets very anxious so I have purposely not told him his cousin who is in the army has been sent over to Afghanistan this weekend. My son would be too anxious and Google everything, what he doesn’t know won’t worry him and it won’t change any outcomes either. – Be Happy Be You
I think it’s a personal call depending on how resilient or anxious your child may be. A huge fear for me is raising a small-minded adult though so I do tend to drip feed the news and have open conversations with them on current affairs, racism, discrimination etc. I don’t want them to turn into adults who say “I’m just not that bothered about politics, it doesn’t affect me.” – The Good Thing Is Though
The news doesn’t represent all the good in the world in balance with the bad, so yes I shield them. In the same way I shield myself. – Natural Beauty With Baby
Certainly not but you need to tailor things for their age and understanding. You can’t completely keep them away from things that are happening in the world as there are so many places they can pick things up from. Lack of awareness can have such negative outcomes as can misinformation/snippets heard in the playground. – Buckets of Tea
100% yes. Shield them away until they’re of an age where they can understand.
Do we even know if the news being shown to us is correct? The British media are horrific for scare mongering, making up their own facts not to mention each media channel /paper having their own political agenda. – The Family Ticket
It depends how old they are. I have a six year old and four year old twins. We live in Plymouth where there was a mass shooting last week. My twins know nothing and I’m keeping it that way. My six year old has seen snippets on the news that a three year old was killed and asked questions. I’ve explained that a little girl was shot and that it was a very awful, and very rare thing to happen. I’ve not told him that a man went on the rampage shooting and killing strangers. I’ve also hidden the fact it’s where we live. I can’t even get my head around it, let alone expect a child to, and I don’t want him to be scared. – Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee
Yes I have 10,7 & 3 I don’t believe they need to know anything that goes on in the news most of it is fear mongering. I don’t believe children should grow up thinking everything is fearful it creates anxiety and doesn’t promote feelings of safety and sense of security in our world. I feel that they deserve to have the chance to grow up and make their own assumptions of our world without the tainted views of the mainstream media that only ever report negativity. We don’t watch the news in our house never have and we don’t listen to it on the radio either. If the children hear about the news it’s from school and then we discuss it. I just want to keep their minds free of fear of their world I want them to feel safe and loved how can you feel that if you are constantly scared about what’s going on around you. These are just my views and I do not judge anyone who chooses to do things differently we are diverse world after all. – Just Motherhood
What do you think? Should we shield our children from the news?