How to talk to children about recent violence in the news

How to talk to children about recent violence in the news
photo credit: CNN
photo credit: CNN

HATTIESBURG, MS - With recent news about violence shown on TV, parents might worry about how these graphic images will affect their children.

Southern Miss Psychology Chair Joe Olmi said it is important to limit young kids from watching the news because they cannot fully understand the violence taking place.

"It could have multiple effects, it could increase their anxiety certainly, such that they might fear being outside or fear individuals who might appear like the perpetrators," Olmi said.

One mother in the Pine Belt said she is regulating what her children see on the news due to the recent violence in Baton Rouge and in France.

"We do limit their exposure, it's hard for that mind that age of a mind to grasp what's going on," Joanne Marsh said.

However, Olmi said it is important to stay honest with children if they ask questions about the recent events shown in the news.

"I think for the most part children are going to lead us in the direction, which is best to interpret those events for them," Olmi said.

Marsh said when her children did ask her about the recent police shootings, she explained things to them the best way she could.

"I tell them that this world is a not a perfect world, that we live in a fallen world a sin-filled world and unfortunately that means hate and bad things happen," Marsh said.

Olmi said if parents see their children experiencing extra anxiety due to recent events to consult a professional.

He also said that it is okay to discuss violence shown in the media with teenagers because they can understand better.