In our commitment to develop children’s critical literacy skills we have teamed up with Picture News to help develop their understanding and appreciation of the news and current affairs.
Having age-appropriate conversations with your child about the news keeps them interested and informed about what’s happening in the world…and you too!
They move from wanting to know what happens in MY world to what is happening in THE world and their place in it.
By having regular conversations about the news, you are able to share a whole range of topics and together make more sense of different events, issues and stories.
There are no rules or script to follow but you might want to watch, listen, read and discuss the news selectively.
Some significant news stories can be frightening, and you will need to consider what your child can cope with and whether they are developmentally ready to understand certain events. For example, you might decide to listen to the news rather than watch it as there may be images they might find upsetting.
Talking about the major headlines of the day and current affairs is important so that children grow up as global citizens but it’s important too to share a variety of fun and exciting news stories from the worlds of sport, entertainment, music, science, etc as well as local news closer to home.
Here are some quick tips:
- Initiate discussions about the news using the Picture News resources.
- Read and watch some news stories together from different sources.
- Find out what your child knows about the news and explore their understanding.
- Listen to what your child says and value their opinions.
- Explain simply and in a way that makes sense to them.
- Promote a habit of enquiry and make asking questions your child’s default setting.
- Help your child to spot fake news and how-to fact-check.
- Develop a news habit by accessing the news daily.
- Defuse bad news and offer reassurance.
- Protect your child from distressing and disturbing news.
- Avoid repeated viewings of the same news event.
- Monitor your child’s exposure to the news.
Discussing the news of the day doesn’t have to be formal but can be done naturally and casually in everyday moments such as on the way to school or preparing a meal.
The important thing is to keep the conversation going about the news and make it a feature of your daily lives.
By working together, we can help children become critical consumers of the news so that they are ‘news savvy’, articulate and confident citizens.