The world is scary, and I'm concerned with all my children see on the news. Any suggestions?
A: News fatigue is a real phenomenon and children may experience it similar to adults.
WKAR's local producer and host of Morning Edition, Mary Ellen Pitney, presented on news fatigue in a recent staff meeting.
"News fatigue specifically describes the anxiety and exhaustion when overwhelmed by the news." Children often see as many images and news reports as adults especially now with devices being a huge source for learning and entertainment during social distancing.
"If a discussion arises around a news event, break big conversations in the news down for children in a way that is digestible. For example, after listening to a difficult news story, turn the radio down and have an open, honest conversation with children in a way that encourages compassion and understanding."
Allow children to ask questions and be okay with communicating a lack of knowledge or full understanding. Feel free to shut off devices when heightened anxiety is evidenced. Then most importantly, reassure children of your commitment to keep them safe and protected during these times and at all times. Remember, regardless the age, a hug goes a long, long way.
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