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13 Nov


This week, the news has been full of photos and stories of the terrible tragedy in the Philippines. For adults, this can be very distressing but children can find stories and photos in the news really confusing too. This week’s Wednesday for Parents deals with tips for talking about your child about the news.

1. There are a number of news sites and programmes that are specifically for children. They can help to explain events in child-friendly language and steer away from some of the more sensational headlines in adult newspapers. On the RTE player, you can find News2day – in Peter’s, we often use this programme as part of lessons on listening and oral language. Newsround is a popular news programme for kids on BBC.

2. Listen to your child and talk about what they’re worried about. If your child is worried after news of local robberies, remind them of the steps that your family takes to keep yourselves safe. Remind them that you lock your doors at night or that you have an alarm.

3. Reassure your child. Every year, when we teach the children about earthquakes, volcanoes and weather conditions, the first thing they ask is ‘could it happen to us?’ For younger children, it’s usually enough to say that it happens thousands of miles away. Older children might want to know why we don’t get major earthquakes in Ireland. PBS Kids has some excellent suggestions about how to talk to different age-groups here . If you ever find that your child has a lot of questions about a particular topic, you can always come in and ask his/her class teacher if you can borrow books from our library or if they can recommend particular websites.

4. Finally, sometimes it’s easier for children to comprehend tragedies if they feel as if they can help. Donating money, clothes or toys can be good options, as can saying a prayer or lighting a candle.

What tips have you for talking to your child about the news? We’d love to hear your suggestions!

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