Children's Safety

Explaining Scary News

Published: 3rd November 2023
Updated: 3rd May 2024

Explaining Scary News

The news can be scary, and your children may have questions about what’s going on and why. To help you navigate these discussions, our Editor in Chief Nicky Cox, MBE, shares a few tips focused on explaining scary news and assisting your children in understanding events like war.

1. Don’t try to turn off the news when there is bad news. Sadly, in the technological world in which we live, adults are no longer in control of how children access information.

News comes to us 24 hours a day from dedicated news channels, radio, the internet, and newspaper headlines. Even if you manage to shield your children from all of that, things that happen in the news will be talked about in the school playground or lunch hall. Better that your child is armed with the real facts than hearing exaggerated, second or third-hand versions.

Information is better than misinformation. Click here to read our explainer about the conflict in Israel & Gaza and watch a film from 2022 about two young people from both sides.

2. Even if your child doesn’t mention bad news, don’t assume they are not troubled by it. They may be worrying quietly inside. Explain simply what has happened, taking care not to use sensationalised words that tend to be used by the national press. Let them voice their concerns too and have a conversation about it if they’d like to.

3. First News covers good and bad news in the paper and in the daily news stories on the First News app. Utilize our content, designed especially for children, as a platform to discuss the news with your children. Our content is always created to clarify what has happened and to provide reassurance, especially when we have a responsibility when it comes to explaining scary news to young readers.

4. Remind them that there is much more good news than bad news happening. And that there are many more good people than bad people in the world.

About First News

First News is the only national newspaper for children. First News gives every child access to trusted news and inspires them to change the world. First News is the fun-to-read, multi-award-winning children’s newspaper delivered to your door and digitally across all devices every week. First News gives children access to factual, impartial news and entertainment from the UK and around the world expertly written by award-winning journalists! First News promises to educate and entertain with every read. A subscription to First News gives a child the knowledge to help them learn, debate and think critically about the world around them and their place within it.

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