Read All About It!

Journey (6) has a strange preoccupation with current events. Not that I think it’s a bad thing; any person who can give me Obama’s daily schedule is impressive. However, his love for news media begs the question rather or not he is old enough to see everything. Politics and traffic aside, the news also covers the seedier side of life. Robberies’, murder, kidnappings, not to mention the fugitives on the loose.

This morning Journey announced, “There was a robbery at a store. I have to watch the news tonight to find out what happened”. (He also announced they put Michael Jackson in a Gold Suitcase. Wanting to avoid the question storm that would most definitely follow if I corrected him, I opted to let him believe it indeed was a very large suitcase. How else would Michael take everything to heaven?)

Two Things:

1. What 6 year old purposely watches the news, and actually listens and understands what’s going on?

2. Where do I draw the line? If my 6 going on 60 year old son is truly interested, do I allow him to watch? (His knowledge of traffic conditions comes in handy during the morning commute)

The V-Chip automatically assumes that no kid in his right mind would watch the news. Therefore it does not automatically filter out the news when set to a PG rating. To create this filter, I would have to manually select every news show and channel. Something I would rather not do, but would if necessary (it sounds eerily similar to work).

Parents (and the occasional non-parent reader) what do you think? Is the evening and morning news inappropriate for a 6 year old?


Brooke said...

I don't have any advice for you, but I'm interested to see the other comments. I can just see this being an issue when my now almost-4 year old gets a little older.

TigersMom said...

There are a lot of rough stories out there, including the recent murder of Steve McNair. However, it is life, and isn't that what we are preparing our kids for?

I remember being close to Journey's age, maybe a little older, when I heard a news story about somebody cutting off somebody's ear. In my child-mind, I freaked out. I'm already deaf in one ear and wanted to keep the good one!! From that night on I slept with my good ear in the pillow. If the boogey man came and wanted to take my ear, he could have my bad one!

Again, I'd say let him watch, but talk him through it. Let him ask questions, current events are a powerful teaching too.

Boccasile Family said...

I can honestly say that we are in the exact same boat. Giancarlo is FASCINATED by the news and literally asks to watch it. Given that he and Journey are 2 days apart and both first children it does not surprise me at all that we are experiencing the same things with our oldest sons.

For us, we don't really indulge and let him watch much of it. We occasionally have it on and we will let him watch until some subject seems inappropriate then we tend to turn it off. We are however, always open and honest with him and give him the opportunity to ask questions that we respond to.

Of course, having a cop for a father he has exposure to things that other kids don't as well. Regardless, we always try to approach our conversations with his age in mind and although we never lie, we try to temper things to what a 6 year old can understand.

Penelope said...

Maybe a good compromise is to let him watch only when you can also? News today is pg-13...parental guidance seems necessary. He may see something scary or inappropriate and not process it well, and you would not know it.

He seems really smart! That is something to be so proud of :)

Penelope's Oasis

Family American Style. said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog. Thanks for sharing. I am starting a new game It’s… What would your children say? Wednesday. It will be fun, I Hope you can join.

Jana said...

Cute blog! I was cracking up about crappy mccrappington...holy geez that was hilarious...the news? hmmm I cant stand it myself but when I was young I loved it, my son is 7 and is doing the same thing, I just make sure I am there to answer the questions he asks.

Anonymous said...

I think you watch with him and maybe stick to local news which may not be as horrific. There are definitely some stories that will make our blood run cold so would definitely give J nightmares.

Auntie Linda

Anonymous said...

I'm thinking there are kid oriented news programs. Speaking of which I saw one child commentator on an adult show, this little kid used crude grown up language. I was surprised … After reading the other comments I'd agree with monitoring his viewing and definitely talking him through anything he wants to talk about and those things you think need some age appropriate explaining. Please remember that kids don't always talk about their fears so it may require some drawing out. Remember when you were afraid of your room... you didn't tell me until you were grown.

Love you,

Anonymous said...

let him watch... just keep the lines of communication open, which i know you will! -ferr