According to the Kids Helpline, when children are frightened, their feelings will often show through nightmares, feeling sick, having trouble sleeping, being reluctant to go to school and worrying about things more than they normally would.
If you’re wondering how to talk to your kids about the reported terror attacks Manchester, at Ariana Grande’s concert, and how much you should tell them, here are some top tips via The Kids Helpline (republished with full permission)…
We know that disturbing and upsetting news viewed on television and through social media impacts negatively on children.
Every day we hear and see news coverage about events occurring either locally in Australia or internationally. The 24 hour news reporting cycle ensures we are kept up to date with the details of newsworthy events including graphic interviews with distressed victims, sad eye witnesses or intense commentators.
Our television and iPad screens are filled with images such as vivid action pictures of sieges, hostages running for their lives with fear and terror on their faces, buildings being washed away in raging floodwaters, people’s homes engulfed in bushfires, or terrorists making demands in return for the lives of people they’ve captured. Numerous studies also show that general news stories can also negatively affect children.
This hot topic looks at why parents need to manage their children’s exposure to news coverage especially the reporting of tragic events, what your child may experience if they are exposed, or over exposed to difficult news, why they are affected and what can be done to assist your child.
What is the impact of disturbing news and how does it affect children and young people?
Parents can expect their children to become more frightened by disturbing news as they age. Very young children do not always understand news especially the spoken news, and they do not understand the significance or the purpose of the news. Fictitious scary creatures can be more upsetting to them than the news because they are designed to be frightening. By pre-school children tend to localise upsetting news events such as reports about natural disasters fearing that similar things might occur in their own family, home, street or suburb even though what they are viewing is happening elsewhere sometimes in another country.