Sensitive items appear in news media every day, from devastating natural disasters to horrendous acts of violence. As much as we might wish to shield our younger ones from some very adult issues, it is not always possible. In a week of news that has been dominated by Eliot Spitzer and his involvement with a prostitution ring, it’s a good time to think about how to talk with your kids.
With newspapers bearing headlines such as “Hooker Happy” and “Ho No!” being sold on every corner, lots of questions can come up in the mind of a kid. Ultimately, the most important thing is not to shun that conversation. Be an active listener. You don’t have to lie, but you don’t have to divulge every little detail if it’s not appropriate. Try to think of times like these as opportunities to get to know your son or daughter better, and to engage their sense of right and wrong.
For a great resource about talking with your kids about the news (and other things), check out PBS’s Talking With Kids series.
For examples of how some families discussed the Spitzer scandal, read this brief article from the New York Times.