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How To Talk To Children So They Are Not Afraid About Current Events

My 5 year old came home form Kindergarten today talking about the earthquake and fire drills they had done at school. I grew up in California where earthquake drills were a normal part of school. I remember the Northridge Earthquake and my aunt holding up her china hutch as we all hid under the dining room table.

The other night while eating dinner Kaila looked up to me and said “mommy, there has been earthquakes, and tsunamis, and now there are tornadoes. It’s bad over there.”  She was right though and at only 5 years old she had started to understand the rest of the world. Its important to talk to kids so they are not afraid.

I picked her up from school today and as she got in the car she had a concerned look on her face so I asked her what was wrong. She began to tell me about a conversation she had with her friend Saki at recess. Saki’s family is Japanese and her and Saki agreed they wanted to help the people who were hurt. Come to find out her and her friends have been talking about it for two weeks now.

There’s such a deep understanding for such a young child but it made me think about how we talk to her about current events. I’ve come to realize a few things when it comes to talking with your kids about current events:

  • Find out how much they know, ask them questions and have a conversation.
  • Be honest.
  • Don’t try and hide the truth.
  • Help them find a way to help if possible.
  • Help them relate to the situation and make it a learning experience.

Do your children ask you about current events?


  1. Teresa Dahl on April 21, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I think it’s easy to almost assume children don’t pick up on things, but they do. My kids are always listening to what my husband and I talk about with each other. They hear the radio in the car, and watch the news with us at night. I need to remember to give my kids more credit, and explain to them that bad things happen in the world. Brenna, you had a good point about letting kids take the lead. I’m going to try that.

  2. DARLA KIDDER on April 21, 2011 at 2:12 am

    Both my sons are young adults and they understand whats going in the news and whats going on in Japan but they don’t let it really get to them, we also lived through the Northridge earthquake and their father lived through big Alaska earthquake , he tells them about it all the time.

  3. Brenna @ Almost All The Truth on April 20, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I think we all too often think that our kids don’t realize much about current events, but they really do. Whether they pick it up at school, or from the radio, or a conversation you have with a friend or spouse, they do realize a lot, and yet not enough. Encouraging parents to talk about these things appropriately with their kids can actually make it a lot less scary and really empower them in their little worlds.

    I always try to let my kids take the lead when talking about something major like this, but we always talk about it.