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What to Do When the News Is Sad

Teacher Consoling Student in Corridor

If you read TIME For Kids, then you must be interested in the news. That’s a good thing. It means you care about what is happening in your community and the wider world. Oftentimes, there is good news to report. But sometimes news can be upsetting. If you find out about sad news and it makes you feel worried or upset, what should you do? To find out, in April 2013, TIME For Kids talked to Dr. Harold Koplewicz, President of the Child Mind Institute. Here’s what he suggested.

I saw a TV report, and it’s upsetting me. What can I do?

Koplewicz: The best place for you to get information is from your parents and teachers. Sometimes, when you go to 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 and your teachers.

The news made me feel sad. What should I do?

Koplewicz: Sadness is a normal emotion. Even someone as strong and as powerful as President Barack Obama weeps when he’s very sad. It’s part of being a human being that sad events make us personally feel sad. That doesn’t mean that we need to fall apart. It means that we just have to acknowledge that we’re sad and move forward.

The news made me feel worried. What should I do?

Koplewicz: Whenever we have sad 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 teacher, but I still feel worried. What else can I do?

Koplewicz: If you still feel 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 is okay to feel sad, but it’s not good to stop doing the things you usually do.