Scary events happen around the world on a regular basis. And with today’s 24/7 news channels and fast Internet access, it’s easy to feel surrounded by tragedies—and it’s virtually impossible to shield your preschooler from hearing at least some of the reporting. To add to the challenge, preschoolers can mix up fact with fantasy or struggle to put events into perspective, which can cause even a relatively mild news story to frighten your child.
News stories are broadcast about countries that are geographically far, but your child won’t yet understand that. PBS provides an example, saying that telling your preschooler that a war is happening “far away” may not reassure him or her. After all, the article points out, your child may perceive “far away” as the “mailbox on the corner, the post office a few blocks away, or Grandma's house in the next town!” This can lead to your child having nightmares or otherwise suffering from anxiety. He or she may become clingy, not wanting to separate from you.
What should you do?