Should Children Be Allowed to Watch TV News Reports?

Guidelines for School-Age Kids

When she's a bit older -- between 8 and 10 years old -- you can begin watching news programs with her or reading to her from the newspaper. Then, you'll need to interpret the various news stories in a way she'll clearly understand.

If she were 8 now, you could go to the library for a book on whatever news topic was worrying her: tsunamis, crime, etc. School-aged children feel more comfortable with difficult topics when they better understand them.

Also, kids of this age are empathetic to victims on the news, so anything they can do to help makes them feel better. Work with your child to find a way to aid the people in need. For example, help her send some of her allowance to help the tsunami victims or neighborhood organizations that help kids her age. She'll feel empowered knowing that she's making a difference.

Jan Faull, MEd, is a veteran parent educator and the author of two parenting books, Mommy, I Have to Go Potty and Unplugging Power Struggles. She writes a biweekly parenting advice column for and a weekly parenting advice column in the Seattle Times newspaper. Jan Faull is the mother of three grown children and lives in the Seattle area.

Originally published on, January 2004.

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