What did you see as a child

When the media scares children

What do images of wars, disasters and violence do?

The information and images from news programs can often overwhelm and stress children. Images of catastrophes, accidents and violence trigger fears and feelings of powerlessness and helplessness in many children - especially when they are pictures of the victims and when blood can be seen. Often it concerns separation and abandonment fears: The child fears that something similar could happen to him or his parents.

Younger children in particular should therefore, if possible, not see news that are made for adults - not even “on the side”. Also, make sure that your child is not watching you watch the news. The best thing to do is to just watch a news program that doesn't air until after your child goes to bed.

With all due care, however, children cannot really be safely kept away from these images and information, because they are not only disseminated via television news, but also via many other media with which children involuntarily come into contact: there is the radio broadcast that you hear during the Breakfast hears, there are the newspapers displayed at the kiosk, the billboard at the subway station, the billboards on the streets and in the squares. Be there for your child when confronted with such information and pictures. Help him to process what he has seen and heard by taking it seriously and answering his questions and giving him comfort and security.

For older children (from early elementary school age) special children's news programs (for example “logo”) are particularly suitable, as they provide the children with information and background information on the latest news in a child-friendly manner. If possible, watch these programs together with your child to be there when they have questions or are unsure.