Reasons that children should, or shouldn’t, watch the news

The televised daily news is a fixture in the viewing routine of many households. People who choose to get their news in sound bites and editorials enjoy the daily news broadcasts. At some points, adults in these homes will begin to integrate the daily news into lives of their children. This activity can come with mixed blessings to young lives. It can be difficult to know if younger children are mature enough to view some of the materials covered on these programs. These guidelines are designed to assist with deciding if your children should watch the daily news.

Record the news programs with teasers that suggest content too mature for your youngster

Most daily news programs are not filled with questionable and steamy materials. This means that young eyes will not be harmed by what they see and hear. Most news programs will run enough teasers and warnings to allow parents or other adults to make a good decision about whether their young viewers should watch those segments. By recording them for watching at a later time, you will have the opportunity to assess what is appropriate.

Exposing children to world events helps broaden their understanding of today’s society

This is especially true if the news is about explorations and discoveries. It also works well to show them the work of emergency first responders like the fire, ambulance, and police departments. Astronauts and sea explorers are a good choice especially for children who are still under 10 years old. They will find this type of reporting exciting and interesting in small amounts. Scenes of war action or victims of natural disasters and terrorism may need to be held back until the child is approaching the teen years.

Never let the child watch the news without adult supervision

No matter how mature a child seems, there will always be parts of some broadcasts that need adult interpretation. This will help them to understand how to process what they have seen and heard. In the case of children, the news should always be discussed to evaluate how it was absorbed and handled by the child. Sometimes, corrections in perception will need to be applied.

Children 6 and under probably do not need to watch the daily news

This age range might need to be adjusted upward depending on the maturity of the individual child. Younger children may find the news to be scary instead of informative and interesting. The best way to handle children of this age would just be to share interesting information that you think they can absorb. Do this in one-on-one conversation without having them even watch the news. A newspaper with pictures about the topic might be a much better option than the more overwhelming way that television sometimes presents the news.

Even most teens will require their parents to help them understand the news in the light of your family’s value system

When topics such as war, abortion, and racism are a part of the daily news, teens need guidance to use a critical eye when evaluating the reporting. Since most daily news programs try to interpret the news as they report it, you may need to help a teen understand the difference between commentary and news. Teens should learn how to sort the facts out from the newscasters opinion of the facts.

As a parent, it is your job to decide when your child is old enough for daily news viewing. It is also your responsibility to instruct your child about how to understand and use the news that is reported. You may even find the need to comfort a child if something disturbing is seen or heard.