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Do you talk to your children about world events?

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

We have a thread going on my local mom's group.  There are a few of us that see no need to discuss the latest bombing in Boston, nor did we talk about Sandy Hook.  Our kids are all around the same age, two of us have boys who just turned five in the last couple of weeks.  We're being chastised a little bit by the rest of the group for not bringing it up to our kids and discussing it because they've "heard it on the playground already."  I tend to disagree, they mostly talk about Star Wars and Legos and bodily functions.  orngtongue.gif 


We don't have older siblings in the house, nor do they interact much with older kids, so they're not hearing it that way either.  My theory is that I work very hard to make sure he knows he can ask any question he wants, so if something is bothering him he can ask about it.  My son categorizes all bad guys as bank robbers and he knows that the policemen are there to catch them. Everything else seems to exist in his swirling lush five year old imagination and that's where we discuss concepts and where things come out of the dark.


So I thought I'd ask for a broader perspective here, because maybe I'm putting my head in the sand, I don't know.  When do you decide to bring up delicate subjects?  Do you wait until they have questions, or do you preemptively talk about certain things?  Does age matter?  Am I naive to want his childhood to last as long as possible when it comes to these kinds of things?

post #2 of 5
I'm of the same mind you are. I don't see any gain whatsoever in telling a young child about the dark side of humanity. My younger if almost 5 and I would absolutely answer any questions if she heard about something, but just sitting her down for an object lesson in "people sometimes do horrible things"; No thank you!

That's not to say that I shelter them forever. I can't remember when my 11 yo started tuning into current events like that- it just evolved gradually- but there's not a whole lot I'd shelter her from at this point. We do try to focus on "how can we help?" If we can but there's no avoiding of topics.
post #3 of 5

It depends on the kid.  My ds can handle information in a very logical way.  At 12 we've talked about everything under the sun.  


My 7 year old is very emotional.  There is no way she could ever handle knowing about any tragedy at this point in her life.  She understands safety drills and stuff like that at school, but the "why" of it has to be very vague for her.  Otherwise she will freak out, then refuse to ever talk about "the bad thing" every again.


Some stupid woman at the elementary school bus stop was talking about Boston yesterday over the kids heads, with full on graphic descriptions.  I dragged dd away, because she doesn't need to hear that.  She's 7.  Also, get a grip, there's no reason to talk about it where kids can hear you, especially kids that aren't yours.

post #4 of 5

I avoided telling my 6 yr old about Sandy Hook.  I turned it off and tried to make sure he overheard little or nothing about it.  I really feared it would shatter something inside himself to know such heinous things can happen to innocent 6 yr olds. As far as I know he knows nothing about it.


 As For Boston, or the Tsunamis or other big disasters.  He is aware of each on different levels.  He may be aware right now that something has happened in Boston, since our studies included the city name recently, I'm sure he has overheard something is amiss.


When in doubt I approach my son with the question, usually at the end of the day (usually a difficult day), "is there anything you want to ask me or talk about?"


I explained 9/11 last fall and it was too soon for both he and I and I skipped a lot of details... like how many bad guys were involved or how many people were killed.  He is, as a result, aware that bad things have/can happen...  we've let him see  documentaries of Pearl Harbor for example... 


I try to at least wait until I have some perspective on it, and only when it becomes necessary to explain somethings.


But My child has been to 6 funerals so there is a certain amount of reality he has done above the normal for his age.

post #5 of 5

I woke my daughter up and told her to watch 911.  (she was 8)  But, I'd have never discussed recent events with her unless she saw it on tv, or was talking about it to me.


I think the Sandy Hook horror was worthy of talking to your kids about, because they probably did hear or see it on tv, or at school.  So, i'd have discussed it a little, and made sure they weren't silently fearing the same thing happening at their own school.  I'd hate to be dealing with serious behavior issues, only to find out they were just afraid to go to school, so they were acting out.

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