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Study: 84% of kids talk about the news weekly; how to talk to children about current events

Steps to help children "feel empowered"
Saudi-led airstrikes targeting two houses in Sanaa, Yemen.
Posted at 6:17 AM, Jan 10, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-10 10:01:52-05

There are devastating events happening worldwide, from wars and mass shootings to concerning conversations about climate change and the economy. It's a lot for adults to process. So, imagine how a child might feel.

Some parents may think their children aren't paying attention to current events but that couldn't be further from the truth according to the Junior Voices survey conducted by The Week Junior.

"This is a very informed, engaged and aware generation of children,” said Andrea Barbalich, editor-in-chief of The Week Junior.

The magazine’s annual survey found 84 percent of kids talk about current events at least once per week. Most children get their news from their family, but also from TV, YouTube, their friends and social media.

  • Family: 56%
  • TV: 48%
  • YouTube: 36%
  • Friends: 35%
  • Social media: 33%

 “All the more reason then,” Barbalich said, “for them to have trusted adults around them who can discuss events with them that may be confusing or concerning.”

In the survey, most kids, 81 percent, said they believe they should have a say on issues that affect them.

The good news for parents is there are many ways to encourage kids to use their voices.

“For example, they could write to their elected officials, they could raise money for an organization that is helping in the cause that they care about,” Barbalich said.

Lastly, have an open dialogue with kids. Barbalich suggests asking young people what they already know about an issue or event and what they think about it.

“All of these steps help children to feel empowered,” she said. “It is a very positive feeling for them to think they're making a difference, especially during difficult times."