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Elementary News

by Ronald A. Rowe | June 10th, 2011 | Elementary, Helpful Hints, Tweens

Do your elementary school kids know what’s going on in the world? With a 24-hour news cycle and ubiquitous scrolling news bars, it is getting harder and harder to decide what to shield them from and how to do it.

Do your children know about the death of Osama Bin Laden? Can they know about his death without first knowing about his life and the evil he wrought? Have they seen the pictures of the devastation from tornados, floods, and earthquakes in recent months?

Children need to have some awareness of what is going on in the world around them. The trick is knowing where to start and stop. Kids should know about politics. Turn on the TV and you’ll notice that the news media won’t stop talking about Sarah Palin driving around in a bus for a couple of weeks. That seems safe enough. Good discussion about the political process, the two parties, etcetera. What about Congressman Anthony Weiner and his Twitter account? Not so much.

On one channel they’re talking about the unemployment numbers. Good, teaching moment about the economy and the importance of a good education. Switch the channel and they’re going on in unsettling detail about Caylee Anthony. Go on to the next station.

Sports? Good. Nothing wrong with keeping up with the sports news – unless they’re talking about Ben Roethlisberger’s off the field activities or Brett Favre’s texting.

Weather. Love the weather. My 10 year old son wants to be a meteorologist. That’s a nice, safe segment to watch together. So far, no delicate questions have sprung up during the weather segment in our house.

Some parents will have a different idea than others about what is suitable for their children to know about current events. Whatever your standards for filtering the news to your children, there are two constants. You need to have the rules defined in your own mind so you’re not forced to make snap decisions, and you and your spouse must be on the same page to avoid conflicts.

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