Q: How can I reassure my child when he sees frightening news reports?
A: Kids are spending an astounding amount of time in front of screens and have exposure to wide array of media. According to a recent NY Times report, almost 1/3 of children under the age of 2 have televisions in their bedrooms. The chance that these children will have access to disturbing media reports or news stories that are not age appropriate is very high. It’s hard for any of us to feel safe when we are bombarded by tragedy and disaster in the news, even more so for children. Younger children may be best off without a great deal of media exposure. As children become more aware, the most important tool may be honest communication. If your child is upset by a story, discuss it and find out how they feel and what they are concerned about. Dismissing the story as something not likely to impact him or her directly will not handle their fears, and may leave them with more uncertainty. Having an open discussion and providing a reassuring routine and environment may be the best parenting tools that you have.

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