If something in the news makes you feel worried or upset, what should you do? TFK asked an expert, DR. HAROLD KOPLEWICZ, president of the Child Mind Institute. Here, he offers some advice.
I hear people talking about the news. How do I know whom to trust and what to believe?
Turn to the trusted adults in your life—parents, teachers, and coaches—to speak about topics that concern you. If a friend shares information, make sure the source isn’t just someone’s opinion passed along through social media. Seek information from reliable sources, such as newspapers. Your school librarian can help you assess a news source’s trustworthiness if you are unsure.
I saw a TV report that upsets me. What can I do?
Sometimes, when you go on the Internet or you watch news on TV, it’s not completely accurate. The news on TV is fast-paced. When sad news affects our nation, all of us need time to understand it and process it. The best people to help you do that are your parents, teachers, and other adults you trust.
The news made me feel sad. What should I do?
Sadness is a normal emotion. Even someone strong and powerful weeps when he or she is very sad. It’s part of being human that sad events make us personally feel sad. That doesn’t mean we need to fall apart. We just have to acknowledge that we’re sad and move forward.
The news made me feel worried. What should I do?
When we have upsetting news, people respond in different ways. There are certain kids who are very private and don’t want anyone to see how they feel. Other kids share their worries. If you feel worried, talk to your parents and teachers. Getting information can make you feel more comfortable.
I spoke to my parents and teachers, but I still feel worried. What else can I do?
If you’re still very nervous, another way to feel better is to take part in activities that help others. Go with your parents to a soup kitchen, or think of ways that you or your class can help other kids. Also, make sure to keep your normal routine. Go to sleep at the right time, play with your friends, and go to the movies. It’s okay to feel sad, but it’s not good to stop doing the things you usually do.