News is essential to every adult’s daily information intake, keeping us informed about the world around us. Adults often consume the news through newspapers, television, social media, etc. But have you ever wondered if children should also be reading the news? If yes, when should the child start reading the news?
This is a widely contemplated question by parents and educators alike. After all, news often contains some very inappropriate information, such as violence, corruption, communalism, etc. These are the topics that are deemed unsuitable to discuss with children. The child might get scared hearing about all the negative things going around.
When is the right time to introduce a child to the news?
According to an article published by the New York Times, the right age to let your child read the news is the age of 7. But, it is unlikely that all children will be mentally and emotionally mature enough to comprehend the news by that age. Here are some ways to tell if your child is ready to read the news:
- Your child is asking about relevant and current topics
This is often a sign that your child is curious and wants to know more about what they may hear or read about from mainstream media or their peers. This curiosity should be nurtured and encouraged!
- If your child is a voracious reader
Does your child enjoy reading books? If yes, then it may indicate that their reading level is higher than their peers. They may enjoy reading the news and comprehending the nuances of real-life situations. They will also enjoy expanding their vocabulary as they will read new words and try to understand the meaning. Slowly they will start incorporating the words in their conversations.
- Rely on parental instinct
Parents often know if their child is ready to start reading the news. This can be due to the child’s academic performance or peer interaction. Parents can even expose their children to the news and see how they react emotionally. If you feel the child is keen to know more, maybe it is time to introduce them to reading the newspaper.
- Have an open conversation with your child
Have a conversation with your child about their interests. Try to source news related to their topics of interest. These could be from portals which publish GK questions for kids, history books, encyclopaedias, etc. This will help in developing an interest as well as a habit.
Should my child be reading a traditional newspaper?
The general understanding is that topics covered in traditional newspapers are too insensitive and frightening for children. News reading for children aims to inform them about significant world and national issues. It is not to cause them stress, anxiety or fear from the outside world.
In such cases, it is crucial to seek news sources which are child-friendly and safe. These sources should ideally stick to facts and not sensationalise news for clicks and engagement. These news sources should be online with audio and visual elements and a discussion or comment section for peer learning.
Where should my child read the news?
Finding news sites to tailor-made news websites for kids is a safer method. This way, it makes reading the news a safe and hassle-free experience for kids, while parents can take a back seat and take a breath of relief knowing their child is in good hands.
A life-long reading habit is a valuable quality to have! Parents need to find out whether their child is ready to read the news and get them started young. It will be beneficial for the child in many ways.