Why My Kids Can’t Watch the News

In my past life I used to write about shootings, murders and car accidents like they were nothing. I could have done it in my sleep. The words “gun”, “killed”, and “died”, would roll off my finger tips and lips as if I was singing a nursery rhyme. Even after my first child was born, I used to wait for the big story, a.k.a. a big accident, fire, or other tragedy, to lead off my newscast. Someone else’s heartache was the big story I was waiting for all day just so I could have the best show. I was wrapped up in such a little bubble of death and negativity that I never gave one thought if a child was going to hear or see one of the stories that really made my day.

That is, until recently. Let me start off by saying I don’t round up my girls to sit down and watch the news. But, when it is snowing for the second time in two days and there’s been no school, you better believe I want to know when all this crap is going to stop. So, with that said, I turned on the news to find out the forecast. It was, of course, the lead (because we all know “weather wins”). Shortly after I heard the depressing news of how much more snow we were going to get I went into the kitchen to start dinner, leaving the TV on the news channel. I didn’t even think that my four-year-old would still be in there watching and listening because usually she runs off to play.

“Mommy, they said someone got shot and killed.” I wanted to crawl in my oven and die. I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to kick myself for not switching the channel. Instead, I told her yes, unfortunately these sad things happen and I quickly grabbed the remote.

As I was cooking dinner I was thinking about how sad it is that kids can’t watch the news. They can’t learn what’s going on because there’s just so much bad stuff. Although they used to be a regular part of my vocabulary, I don’t want words like “gun” and “killed” to be a part of theirs.

I’m not saying newscasts need to be kid friendly. I know how it works. I know they are not meant for children and parents should not let them watch. That is why I get most of my news these days through my phone. This way I can still know what’s going on in the world without exposing my children to it.  But, isn’t it sad it has to be that way?

I guess being on the other side of the fence makes you think about things in a different light.  Maybe someday younger kids can watch more than the weather without mommy having to run for the remote.


3 Comments Why My Kids Can’t Watch the News

  1. Anna Maria

    Hi kristina, i live in italy and on one of the children’s networks they have a news program done by kids. My 2 little girls and i watch it every morning and they love it. They focus on the better things in current events.

  2. SheriQ

    I am so with you. Not only do I not want my kiddos to have the horrific news as part of their day, I also don’t want/need my anxious daughter to have bad dreams. She worries about every little thing & the news is off-limits at our house.

  3. Dawn at Momsanity

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, too, because my 2-year-old is understanding so much more as of late—and repeating everything, of course. The news is, in a word, depressing. It totally plays up the fear factor so that viewers will tune in and stay tuned in. I guess it’s always been like that, but we have new perspective as moms now.

    On a side note, yesterday morning, I was watching The Today Show (waiting for a weather forecast, of course) and the Russian police were singing Up All Night to Get Lucky. My son was bopping along to it all. Not hard news, but that can’t be good for him psychologically either! 😉


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