Talking with Children About Upsetting News Events

News of the Haiti earthquake and related photographs have been so disturbing, that I skip headlines and scroll down to more mundane news.

If we adults can be so disturbed, what about children who are exposed to the same repeating news casts? Fortunately for us, Dr Paula Rauch, a child psychiatrist who heads the “Parenting At a Challenging Time” program at the Massachusetts General Hospital, (Boston, MA) gives us several tips on the best ways to engage with children of different age-groups.

Dr Rauch kindly gave permission to share this entire article with you all. Please share this valuable resource with other parents.


Talking with Children about Upsetting News Events

All children are exposed to news via newspapers, radio, the Internet, and especially television. And they naturally turn to their parents with questions about what they have seen and heard. For a child whose family is impacted by the earthquake in Haiti, news about the tragedy can raise concerns about their own family’s safety. Discussing these issues poses a special challenge for parents to listen, understand, and answer their children’s questions in a manner that is both honest and reassuring. Meeting this challenge successfully strengthens your child’s inner strength, sense of security, and trust in you.
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