Dealing with World Crises in the Age of Social Media
In an age where it is impossible to avoid world news, it can be difficult to protect ourselves from mass media coverage of the violence and tragedy rampant in our world. While there are many pros to social media and globalization, it can be a slippery slope if we don't set healthy boundaries for ourselves, our families, and our children.
We found a great article on LA Parent, specifically speaking to the trickiness of balancing exposure and education, versus constant bombardment of negativity, hate, and loss...oftentimes instilling anger and fear.
LA Parent offers some great advice as to how to handle this with children. This is particularly important as kids are highly impressionable - they internalize everything they see and hear in the media, as well as messages they receive from their caregivers (even subliminal or indirect ones). Kids are fragile in many ways, but they are incredibly resilient - so we mustn't allow their hopeful, innocent hearts and minds to become jaded, judgmental, and tarnished.
Even within the tragic state of our world, a child's most significant world is their home -- it is important that their immediate context is their safe place, the place where they are encouraged to explore, learn, and develop, but also where they are loved, supported, reassured, and secure.
Click here or see below to read full article from LA Parent...
Dealing With Tragic News
Published June 20, 2016
By Christina Elston
"Whether it’s happening in Nice, Dallas, Louisiana, Orlando, Brussels or Paris, it can sometimes feel like tragedy is also taking place right in the palm of your hand – or your child’s – via social media and smartphones.
“It’s just a constant bombardment of input. I was shocked to hear that kids are getting news information from Instagram,” says Caroline Knorr, parenting editor of Common Sense Media, a California-based nonprofit dedicated to helping kids thrive in a world of technology.
Even if you don’t allow your child to use social media, you can’t be sure he or she won’t see things on a friend’s account. That means policing your child’s sources of information shouldn’t be your top priority. “The most important thing is to help kids learn how to view media critically,” Knorr says. Teach your older child:
which news sources (i.e. public radio, newspapers) are more reliable,
what sensationalism is, and
that there are other perspectives out there besides the one that shows up in their social media feed.
When you hear about tragic news, start by asking what your child has seen or heard about it before diving in with your perspective. Knorr hadn’t wanted to tell her teenage son about the Orlando shootings in June, but he heard about them before she did.
Whatever your child’s age, react calmly. “They need to be reassured that they are safe and stable,” says Knorr. Point out that even though we are flooded with information about these events, they are isolated incidents. Minimize your younger child’s exposure to information about these events if you can.
Teens and tweens, meanwhile, might benefit from the chance to express feelings with their peers on social media. They can see other kids’ reactions, and respond. “That’s super powerful for kids,” Knorr says.
You can also offer your child a chance to get involved. “It’s super important for kids, especially now, to feel like they can do something,” says Knorr. That might mean showing support for a related charity or participating in a peaceful demonstration.
© 2016 Rachel Cord, Pacific MFT Network