Yesterday’s news about a bus suddenly exploding as it traveled northbound along EDSA between the Ayala Avenue and Buendia exits shocked the nation. The news was immediately picked up by major media outfits, and Twitter feeds were awash with images showing the vehicle with its windows shattered from the explosion. Seventeen people have been reported injured and four passengers lost their lives, as of this writing.
As shocking as we adults find news such as this, however, we might take the time to wonder what our kids make of these events. In this day and age, children are becoming savvier in the ways of media and technology, and parents are finding it more and more difficult to shield them from this type of news. Sometimes, it’s even the young ones who bring breaking news to the attention of their parents.
But how much of these stories should we share with our children, and when do we start letting them become aware of the harsh realities of life? Can we protect them from this sort of news at all? Factors include the maturity and age of the children, but parents still have to make judgment calls on what they believe their kids can or can’t handle.
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Read on and make note of FN’s 10 tips for discussing current events—especially troubling ones—with your kids:
1. Practice discretion. Remember that you don’t have to disclose everything. Depending on your child’s age and level of maturity, he or she may not need to know the whole story. You should also screen the images your child will be able to view about the event in question. For example, while aerial photos of the bus from yesterday’s incident may be OK, those of injured parties or even fatalities should be blocked.
2. Discuss the positive as well as the negative. As adults, we always know that good news can be found even in the worst circumstances. Make sure your children know this as well. In the case of the bus explosion, mention the police and other people who helped the victims. Highlight people who are making a difference, who are bringing good things into the world, and not just those who cause chaos.