Many parents think that reading the news is non-essential for children, or that their child is unprepared to read the news. However, reading the news and keeping up with current affairs is actually a crucial part of every child’s education and development.
Young children should definitely be encouraged to discover and discuss news. By reading news for kids regularly, a child stands to learn more than they would from a traditional newspaper or curriculum textbooks. It contributes to their all-around development in many ways.
Kids who read the news regularly are usually more aware and sensitive to their surroundings. A simple activity like reading the news can help them be more well-adjusted to the world around them.
Secondly, reading more helps them compartmentalize their thoughts and build critical thinking. Reading news pieces across different sections like the environment, social science or technology helps build a knowledge base about these different areas. It also familiarises them with a higher level of vocabulary and jargon used in conversations.
Reading helps children write creatively as well. It is a crucial step toward developing an imaginative mind and helps them understand the flow of a paragraph and the crucial elements of a story. Jumpstart their imagination and help them weave their ideas into words.
Thirdly, reading is a wonderful habit! And, it’s never too early for your child to start reading. There are other popular mediums of learning such as audio or visual mediums. While this may seem more attractive to children, reading will always remain essential.
The Ideal Age To Start Reading The News
This is a great question that many parents ask. In fact, parents must understand that every child will be ready for real-world news at their own pace. To know the right age that their child should read the news, a parent needs to interact and evaluate their child’s readiness consistently.
Common Sense Media is a leading nonprofit organization dedicated to helping all kids navigate through the world of media and technology. According to them, parents are strongly recommended to wait until their child is at least 7 years old before exposing them to even a light level of news. And we agree.
No parent wants their child to chance upon news or material that could be potentially traumatic or uncomfortable for their child. By the age of 7, children become more curious about the world around them and most are ready to know more about the real world.
Very young children often have a hard time differentiating between real and fake news. They may start reading the news and not understand which event is speculative.
Children could read that the earth is spinning slightly faster and worry it will shake us all off of it! Or, that an oil spill in the ocean will end the lives of all the little ocean critters. These thoughts could greatly disturb them.
Children do have very active imaginations. That’s why it’s important to discuss the news stories they have read and understand the ways to interpret them.
How Can Reading The News Help My Child At School?
Reading helps children keep up at school and maybe even read ahead in class. Reading from a young age helps improve children’s logical thinking as well as memory.
Children interested in reading are likely to get involved in activities such as debating, reading or writing groups and book club! This boosts their extracurricular profile and could help them be all-rounders!
What Are The Benefits Of Reading News Socially?
Reading the news has social benefits as well! It facilitates social cohesiveness.
News isn’t always about political, criminal, or disturbing events.It also includes human interest stories and news about people and organizations helping each other.
This way, letting children see the good in the world is also an important part of the news. This boosts morale and helps build emotional intelligence in children.
How Do I Find The Right News Source For My Child?
As a parent, you will have to sift through and shortlist news sources. Your child can’t handle the responsibility of choosing a source of news for themselves.
Parents have to vet youtube news channels and scour social media and news sites for kids. The goal is to find a news portal for kids that is credible, appropriate, and matches your child’s reading level and developmental goals.
There are ways to ease your child into the world of news. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to act as a gatekeeper for the content your child consumes. This is true, especially in the nascent stages of their emotional and psychological development.
Here are some tried and tested methods to slowly integrate your child into the world of news.
1. Special Kids Newspapers And Websites
There are dedicated news sites and newspapers for children that break down current affairs with the utmost sensitivity. News written especially for kids is a niche of its own.
It makes news easily accessible and digestible for kids. Kids’ news sites find a way to make complex news simple and relatable.
2. Picture Books And Encyclopedias
There are encyclopedias and autobiographies designed for children. They contain big illustrative pictures and help your child learn and process information visually.
Visual and pictorial representations spark the imagination and interest of a child. Parents can also teach their children about famous historical figures through history books and autobiographies written for kids.
3. News-reading As A Fun Family Activity
Parents can also sit with their children and help them read news articles. This method may prove to be more time-consuming but could also be more effective.
Reading the news together could become a fun bonding activity. This way you can guide your child towards more appropriate news stories.
4. Nurture Your Child’s Curiosity
Encourage your child to ask more questions – at home, in class, at the dinner table, and among their friends.
Curiosity is a beautiful thing in a child, children should feel comfortable enough to ask questions to their teachers and peers. This helps them be more confident and open-minded.
We can conclude that reading the news is a simple activity that comes with a multitude of benefits for children and teenagers. It helps build a social consciousness as well as awareness.
Parents should encourage their children’s fascination with the world and how it works. After all, the news doesn’t have to be dreary and full of despair, it can be quite fun too!
Sara is our super author here at famous parenting and is an absolute wealth of knowledge. Sara has studied many topics including creative writing and journalism and loves to study how famous parents and entrepreneurs raise their kids. Her biggest passion lies in raising her 5 children. Between working from home, homeschooling her youngest 2 children and navigating the world of teenagers she really is a parenting guru.