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At what age do you think children should watch/listen to the news?

(22 Posts)
GrimmaTheNome Thu 13-Aug-09 20:54:43

My DD is 10, and we're starting to wonder if/how she should start to be exposed to 'current affairs'.

Part of the reason for this is that the secondary school she really wants to go to has an interview as well as entrance exams, and DH says he messed up his scholarship interview at this age because he was asked about news stories of which he was blissfully ignorant.

We don't watch much TV - she isn't interested in much except Dr Who and Spring/AutumnWatch. Doesn't watch any kids TV. I'm not sure what level CBBC 'newsround' is at - apt or trivial? Maybe theres something web-based which would work better.

So - what news do your kids watch/listen to at what ages please

Karam Thu 13-Aug-09 21:52:26

We watch the 6pm news and my 5 almost 6 year old is around. She doesn't actively watch it, but she picks up on enough to ask questions. For example, when we drive through Wootton Bassett on the days the bodies are being repatriated, she knows that it is young soldiers coming home from Afghanistan etc. I've never sought to protect her from the world in that way and have been quite matter of fact about things, although some facts might get edited (For example, she knows Maddie Mccann went missing, but does not know she was taken from her bed). I think they're never too young to start learning about the world around them, and I think because she has always been aware of it, she doesn't really find it upsetting because it is not destroying any idealistic image of the world she might have - she knows some children die, wars happen, some people are poor and so on... So I'd say never too young and certainly there has never been a story on the 6pm news that I haven't been able to talk through with her.

TrinityRhinoIsInDetention Thu 13-Aug-09 21:55:57

well I dont watch it I rely on dh to keep me up to date with things so he can edit what will cause me to spiral down

I wouldn't let dd1 (9) watch it in a millions years

she was in peices after she saw the advert about 12 to 17 years old girls in scotland getting 3 jags for papulomous {sp?}

she is of a sensitive dispotion like me

wants to make everyone happy, save all animals, make sure all kids are ok etc

gets very upset about people dying, wants to help, upset that she cant

cant get things out of her head that have upset her etc

no chance she is watching the news and I wont be starting either

deaddei Thu 13-Aug-09 22:07:00

My ds (10) comes in bed every morning at 6.45 to watch the news- he loves it! He asks questions- I answer them. But then I've always been open and honest- ie he knows that there are men and women who do horrible things to children, the chances of it happening to him are minimal, but for his own safety he mustn't talk to strangers/go off with them.We have a paedophile in our area who is often spotted in town- he knows there are bad people, and that you avoid them if you can. He has heard what happened to Baby Peter- knows how lucky he is, and that some children don't have as good a life.
Some children are too emotionally immature to hear it- it tends to go over my older dd's head- and that's fine. Each child is different, and you must decide as a parent what is right for yours.

piscesmoon Thu 13-Aug-09 22:19:25

I think that they should be aware of current affairs by 10 yrs. I have always watched the news and so I haven't given much thought to age. I don't think they pay any attention until they are ready.

Karam Thu 13-Aug-09 22:20:55

If they do get upset about such things, then I find usually discussion and action can help them.

For example, we buy the big issue which she knows helps the homeless people. She knows I have a DD to Oxfam, but if she gets upset, she'll empty her money box and we'll take it in to oxfam. She always does a Christmas box for children "who haven't got any toys", she recycles her shoes "For the children who haven't got any". If ever she does get upset, we do something to help the situation and that helps to reassure her. But she is only 5, so still has a rather simplistic view on things.

The key thing I think is that these things are less upsetting for her because she has always known about them, so she has never idealised the world. The same is true for my DD2 too. She's not even three yet but knows that she is vegetarian because she does not eat meat and happily points to a sausage and say 'that's a dead pig - yuck'.

I think however, if they have been protected from the world and have built up an idealised view of it, then it must be harder because sooner or later that idealistic view must come crashing down.

TrinityRhinoIsInDetention Thu 13-Aug-09 22:22:21

I disagree pisces

dd will avidly watch it, ask questions and understand if we let her

but then she will be unable to sleep, crying intermitently about things she has seen
asking why we cant change whats happening, worrying about unfinished things etc ect

HecatesTwopenceworth Thu 13-Aug-09 22:23:37

My eldest is 10 and he watches the news. He also looks at the news on yahoo when he goes on the computer. he will turn to us and say "Oh no, bad news.." or "good news.." and then read us the story. This isn't anything we've done, he just seems to want to know the world! he is seeking out this information. (Just like my dh actually) So we decided to make sure he watched / read with us so we can explain things to him.

ds2, aged 8, couldn't care less. If it's not Chowder, or Pink Panther, or How It's Made, he's not interested.

PinkyMinxy Thu 13-Aug-09 22:25:36

I have been wondering about this. I usually have R4 on for much of the day, so that has news on it, but I don't think they pay much attention to it. BBC4 comes on after cbeebies has finished and they sometimes see bits of that, if it is very graphic/violent I tend to turn it off- especially since it is at bedtime. But my DC are samll- my eldest is only 4. I do think sometimes I should put 'normal telly on from time to time, instead of just children's tv.I think it is good for children to see what goes on in the world.

MyPetSnail Thu 13-Aug-09 22:26:33

My DD's 8 and she is now taking more of an interest what's on the news, like deaddei said, she asks questions about some stories and I answer in a way that makes sense to her and doesn't freak her out.

I do censor the Baby P stories on it though. I don't want what the people did to the little boy to be anywhere near the inside of her head. It's not something I could explain to her, and she is quite sensitive, so I know she'd mull it over, I suppose like we all have.

Just my personal opinion, but I think it's good for her to be aware of the wider world she lives in, of the funny things that happen, and that not all of it is nice. But I do always stress that she should keep things in perspective.

wannaBe Thu 13-Aug-09 22:28:47

I think that children should be aware of current affairs.

My ds is six and watches newsround of his own accord. He always comes into bed with me in the morning and the news is usually on then anyway so he will watch the bits he's interested in and ask questions.

We've always had the news on in the house - usually the radio and I've never shielded him from it.

He was recently upset by an advert asking to sponsor a tiger less they become extinct and I had to explain that we can't help all the animals, so there are certain things that will affect him more than others.

piscesmoon Thu 13-Aug-09 22:35:43

Mine have never taken a lot of interest. I think it better that they see and you discuss it, than have to have a news blackout through out the day. They are at a great disadvantage with general knowledge and discussions at school if they don't know what is going on. If the 10yr old in OP is having an interview for secondary school I would have thought it essential.

GrimmaTheNome Thu 13-Aug-09 22:49:04

As I thought, one size doesn't fit all for this!

Thanks for all your varied experience. We haven't really deliberately shielded DD from the news thus far, just that the TV isn't on when she's likely to be watching it, and to do so would entail a change of habits which would not be good in other respects.

Maybe I'll start by having the radio on in the kitchen more when she's about, or in the car on the way to school. (I'm a bit of an R4 addict anyway but tend to turn it off when DD and DH are around so we can talk).

Any web suggestions in addition to Yahoo please? (prejudiced against that name - I'd rather hear news from a Houyhnhnm site grin)

piscesmoon Thu 13-Aug-09 22:53:30

Why not use the newspaper and then you can just discuss topics that you think she should know about? Either that or get a children's newspaper.

cat64 Thu 13-Aug-09 22:55:35

Message withdrawn

GrimmaTheNome Thu 13-Aug-09 22:56:47

I didn't know there were any children's newspapers - that sounds like a good idea!

Please can you enlighten me?

We do sometime discuss things in the newspaper but not enough of the serious stuff.

Yurtgirl Thu 13-Aug-09 23:00:45

Take out a subscription to [ First News]]

I subscribe to The Week which is also fab - both published by the same company and as far as I know both are independent of The times, daily mail etc

Yurtgirl Thu 13-Aug-09 23:01:37

First News

I linked to that without knowing others were reccomending it lol

GrimmaTheNome Thu 13-Aug-09 23:07:44

Brilliant! Thank you so much. smile

GrimmaTheNome Fri 14-Aug-09 21:02:31

Just to report back that we aquired a copy of First News today, DD has read most of it and approves so we will get a subscription. This is a LOT better than TV news for her in all sorts of ways so many thanks all of you, and especially those who answered the question I ^should6 have asked rather than the one I did grin

cat64 Fri 14-Aug-09 21:47:36

Message withdrawn

piscesmoon Fri 14-Aug-09 22:12:03

It would be nice if all problems could be solved as easily!

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