Posted in Kids 0-5, Kids 5-12

Helping Kids Process Troubling News Events

When something troubling happens in the news, it can be overwhelming for adults to try to make sense of it all, and it can be even more difficult for children. Here is a list of resources for caregivers that can help kids process major news events, and the general stress of these turbulent times.

Read Aloud: The Breaking News

Local Resources

Our youth today are facing increasing mental health challenges that are detrimental to their health, well being as well as success in school and relationships. Fortunately, there is help out there and the earlier we are able to recognize signs of mental illness, the better able we are to help our children thrive.

Parenting is tough, especially when you are navigating the uncertainty of the world around you on top of it.  Luckily, the Family Resource Center in Sheboygan has parenting classes and lists of resources that can help you and your child succeed.

National Resources

Community violence is violence that happens around you. Sadly, our world and communities are full of scary, disturbing news about people harming others. It’s hard to know how to explain such events to young children, or how much to share, but you can help them feel safer and more secure…and build hope for a more peaceful, kinder future.

In a world where even little kids learn about horrific subjects, it’s important for parents to put things in perspective, field questions, and search for answers together.

How do you talk to your child — in a way that both reassures and acknowledges fears — in the wake of trauma and community violence? Check out these resources for parents and educators on talking to kids about trauma and loss from Harvard’s School of Education and the National Education Association

Online resources for parents, teachers, and others working with young children about coping with violence and talking to young children about tragedies they learn about in the media.

Experts say parents should assume their children are already aware of tragedies and their aftermath and provide guidance on how to talk with your children about protests and racism.

No doubt many young people across the country are finding these times in our world extremely scary. Parents, caregivers and teachers can help children cope by knowing how to talk with their children about what they are seeing on the news.

If you’re looking for a way to help your child express their reactions to what’s going on, you may be able to adapt some of these art therapy techniques for children:

Recommendations from our Card Catalog

Picture Books

A Terrible Thing Happened by Margaret Holmes

After Sherman sees something terrible happen, he becomes anxious and then angry, but when a counselor helps him talk about these emotions he feels better.

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul

Both timely and timeless, this charmingly illustrated debut picture book from Sarah Lynne Reul touches on themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

Grandfather Ghandi by Arun Gandhi

Gandhi explains to his grandson that anger is a normal human emotion, that people must work to conquer and transform so that it can be used for a good purpose. 

Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood by Isabel Campoy

Mira lives in a gray and hopeless urban community until a muralist arrives and, along with his paints and brushes, brings color, joy, and togetherness to Mira and her neighbors.

Niko Draws a Feeling by Bob Raczka

No one understands the abstract pictures that Niko draws until a new friend sees the thought and feeling within his shapes and forms.

The Rabbit Listened by Cori Doerrfeld

When Taylor’s block castle is destroyed, all the animals think they know just what to do, but only the rabbit quietly listens to how Taylor is feeling.

Ruby Finds a Worry by Tom Percival

Meet Ruby–a happy, curious, imaginative girl. But one day, she finds something unexpected: a Worry.  It’s not such a big Worry, at first. But every day, it grows a little bigger . . . And a little bigger . . . Until eventually, the Worry is ENORMOUS and is all she can think about. 

What do You Do with a Problem? by Yamada Kobi

What do you do with a problem? Especially one that follows you around and doesn’t seem to be going away? Do you worry about it? Ignore it? Do you run and hide from it? This is the story of a persistent problem and the child who isn’t so sure what to make of it.

Nonfiction Chapter Books

Breaking the News: What’s Real, What’s Not, and Why the Difference Matters by Robin Terry Brown 
A look at culture’s relationship with journalism, and an effort to teach kids what is “real” versus “fake” news.

Media Violence by Noah Berlatsky 
This book is a collection of articles in which authors examine the moral and societal implications of media violence and the ways in which society and government should regulate violence in the media. Resource for parents

Guardians of Liberty : Freedom of Press and the Nature of News by Linda Barrett Osborne
Guardians of Liberty explores the essential and basic American ideal of freedom of the press. Allowing the American press to publish – even if what they’re reporting is contentious – without previous censure or interference by the federal government was so important to the Founding Fathers that they placed a guarantee in the First Amendment to the Constitution … Linda Barrett Osborne shows how freedom of the press has played an essential role in the growth of this nation, allowing democracy to flourish.

Thank you to Alison L. & Mead Youth Services for their work on pulling together these resources.