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Mr. Rogers on Scary Things in the News

Am I the only one who misses Mr. Rogers?

Perhaps I’m a bit sappy and nostalgic, but it seems at times like these, when the news is so dark and often frightening, it would be especially comforting to hear his calm, reassuring voice again. Fred Roger’s ability to communicate with children and to help them understand and deal with difficult questions was a gift, one he shared with us all.  Were you one of those kids he helped through a tough or scary time?

Mr Fred Rogers on Scary Things in the News

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When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers — so many caring people in this world.

~Fred Rogers

I find this quote particularly comforting right now. Unlike many quotes spread across social media, Mr. Rogers really did say this. In fact, he repeated this story many times during his life. Concerning his mother’s advice to “look for the helpers,” he wrote “the world is full of doctors and nurses, police and firemen, volunteers, neighbors and friends who are ready to jump in to help when things go wrong.”

He’s right. They are always there… if we simply look.

How do you talk to your children about scary things they see in the news? We may try to shield our young children, but they’re little sponges and pick up more than we realize. They also are quite good at reading our feelings and fears. Try to help them feel comfortable asking questions, and be sure we understand what they are really asking (it may not be what we think). Then keep our answers short and simple.

What do you recommend when talking to children?

 

2 comments

  1. OneMommy

    I definitely miss Mr. Rogers!
    We tend not to have the t.v. on during the day, which really helps keep a lot of the new away from our kids right now. But I know, with our oldest starting school next year, that eventually they will start hearing things that are scary in the world, not only to kids, but to us parents as well!
    Definitely have to agree that giving them just the information they are asking for (short and simple, like you said) instead of too much info. is the way to go.

    1. Michael Schmid

      Thanks for dropping by. Hope all is going great with you and yours? Having the TV off most of the day is likely the best thing on many grounds. If ours is on, it’s always monitored, and on educational channels with no commercials (and certainly no news coverage). Still they pick things up, though they may completely misunderstand what they hear. Thus being sure clarify their questions before giving simple, short answers (volunteering nothing more than they ask, and leaving out unnecessarily scary content) as you say, makes sense. Have a super weekend!

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