This week NU.nl has launched a news website especially for children: NUjunior.nl. Because it is sometimes quite difficult for parents to talk with their child about certain news topics, NU.nl comes to the rescue with a new series. Here experts tell you how to talk to your child about news.
As news through smartphones is everywhere, as a parent you cannot ignore it. Closing the curtains no longer helps. Huge news that seems to be far from the perception of children reaches nine out of ten times the schoolyard. But how do you talk to young children about the news in a good way?
Involvement in news makes it resilient
Strangely enough by actively involving children, says pedagogue and educational innovator Frum van Egmond. "Of course you choose a child-friendly way of talking, such as avoiding heavy words such as decapitation. That is really too intense. But by talking about it, you make children feel safe and make them resilient. Children feel themselves then safe, because nothing is kept away and they hear an honest story. And they become resilient, because they learn to deal with reality. "
Consistent with age
Connect with age in a conversation about the news of the day, developmental psychologist Juliette Walma van der Molen also emphasizes. "Children under nine years of age often still live in a fantasy world. With them, some news items will not catch on. So let a young child come up with a topic themselves." Also good and bad news alternate keeps it manageable for a child. Does your child still come up with questions about shocking news, then keep your own emotions under control, keep it short, do not go into too much detail and emphasize that your child can always come to you with concern. "
Keep your own emotions under control
If a child is older than nine, then it is certainly good to discuss strong news. Otherwise, there is a risk that your child will make it bigger than it is. For example, in the event of an attack or violent family murder, it is good to acknowledge that it is quite frightening, but also emphasize that it is very rare. That is precisely why it is in the news.
Another so-called 'reassurance strategy' as used by the Jeugdjournaal is discussing what you can do yourself, according to Walma van der Molen. "If a child is worried about climate change, then you can, for example, propose picking up the plastic on foot from school. This fits in perfectly with their perceptions, because at this age they want to do something."
Especially ask open questions
Discussing the news yields something very important in addition to regulating anxiety, according to Frum van Egmond. "You teach a child to think critically and to form your own opinion. You stimulate this primarily by asking open questions. Questions such as: What is this anyway? What does this have to do with you and your environment? What solutions can you think of and how do you could it be different? How do you know if this is correct, from which source does this come? By talking about the news in this investigative way, children become more and more curious and they themselves look for more news. "
Does your child like to stay up to date with the latest news? Have him or her visit NUjunior.nl. Here children read safe and reliable news specially made for them.