Self-esteem in your child

My 8-year-old son loves to sit with me as I watch news and everyday he grows more and more inquisitive. Considering the things that are aired on TV such as violence in Syria and Iraq, I am having a big problem answering all his queries. He keeps asking me why people are killing each other. How best can I talk to him about the things in the news? Collin, Remera.

My 8-year-old son loves to sit with me as I watch news and everyday he grows more and more inquisitive. Considering the things that are aired on TV such as violence in Syria and Iraq, I am having a big problem answering all his queries. He keeps asking me why people are killing each other. How best can I talk to him about the things in the news? Collin, Remera.

Dear Collin,

I can totally relate with the problem you are facing. The 24-hour news cycle that came with channels such as CNN and Al Jazeera has meant that viewers are exposed to a lot of violence-related news.

Reports about bombings, floods and other disaster are bound to worry children and it may be a good idea to ensure that they do not have to watch too much of the news as they may grow up with a negative view of the world.

However, there are also some interesting bits of news like sports achievement from which a child can learn certain values like the rewards that come from hard work or simply the beauty of being successful like Usain Bolt or Lionel Messi

It is important to talk to them about what they see in the news because news is not the same as films that are acted. It is the reality that your child needs to understand.

Help your child to contextualise the news and ask him what he thinks about what he just saw. Tell your child the truth but focus on simply what he needs to know.

You can also use the news to teach your son about far off places so that he gets to know more about geography.

If you feel uncomfortable with the content of the news, feel free to switch it off.

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