Explaining the News to Our Kids

Dramatic, disturbing news events can leave parents speechless. These age-based tips on how to talk to kids about the news—and listen, too—can help.

If it bleeds, it leads. The old newsroom adage about milking stories for sensationalism seems truer than ever today. And with technology doing the heavy lifting—sending updates, tweets, posts, and breaking news alerts directly to our kids’ phones—we parents are often playing catch-up. Whether it’s wall-to-wall coverage of the latest natural disaster, a horrific mass shooting, a suicide broadcast on social media, or a violent political rally, it’s nearly impossible to keep the news at bay until you’re able to figure out what to say. The bottom line is that elementary school-aged kids and some middle schoolers have trouble fully understanding news events. And though older teens are better able to understand current events, even they face challenges when it comes to sifting fact from opinion—or misinformation.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta on Chronic Stress in America

Stress on steroids. That’s how life feels for many Americans today. Consider senseless shootings, a nasty political climate, catastrophic weather, increasing suicide rates. Factor in close-to-home stressors such as caring for a loved one; parenting a learning-disabled, autistic, depressed, or anxious child; managing your own chronic condition or addiction; looking for a job. Now layer in everyday annoyances — traffic, train delays, a nasty coworker, a long supermarket line after an even longer day. No wonder we feel overloaded, overwhelmed, out of control, and unsafe.

Time Management for Parents

Parents juggle. It’s what we do. And the reality is that sometimes, we can feel like we’re not juggling very well, and just can’t keep all the balls in the air. All too often, it can seem like there just isn’t enough time in the day to do all the things we want and need to do, whether it’s meeting that work deadline, tackling the always-growing pile of laundry, helping kids with homework, and somehow still getting dinner on the table on time. Reminding ourselves that we can’t get everything done and that things definitely slow down when we become parents is one of the first things we should do when we feel overwhelmed and stressed before we can begin to tackle the “how” in time management.

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