PBS KIDS Resources for Discussing the News with Young Children

The tumultuous events events at our nation’s Capitol, the ongoing global pandemic, and discussions of impeachment while preparing for Inauguration Day, leave us facing a chaotic news cycle that is not only tough for parents to digest, but also difficult for kids to ignore. 

We can’t prevent kids from seeing scary things in the news – even if parents don’t feel ready to have conversations about them. Curious kids have questions as they inevitably overhear bits and pieces of what is going on in the world around them. PBS KIDS has created the following resources to help parents steer these tough discussions:

  • A step-by-step guide on helping kids navigate scary news stories: Listen, clarify, look for the helpers, and reassure your child. Parents might not have all the answers, but this step-by-step guide will make tackling difficult subjects something parents can handle. 
  • A lesson on resilience with Arthur: What can you say to kids when upsetting events occur? Can empathy build social skills? This list of resources, activities and videos from Arthur will not only help kids build resilience, but will help parents cope as well!
  • Tips to expand your child’s circle of concern: While children are hard-wired for empathy, it is important to help them to be empathetic to people outside of their immediate circle. This effort is critical to your child’s development, and this list of tips is a useful place to start when tackling tough news stories.