Advice on Kids and News

Written by Kyle Noone

Advice on teaching kids about current events on their terms.Youth-oriented sites offer news in a bite size way for kids.

Current events may be fascinating to you, but ask most youngsters if they get a kick out of watching CNN's 24/7 news coverage and chances are the answer will be an overwhelming yawn.

And who can blame 'em? If plowing through the New York Times is a Sunday challenge for you, imagine being 12.

But there are some resources designed to spark news interest in the young. A score of Web sites now populate the Internet with current news geared toward kids.

Unlike your local daily, sites like Yahooligans News, ABCNEWS4 Kids and TimeForKids pick their headlines with children's interest in mind (think the Napster debate) and write with a younger voice.

The sites are easily navigated and ABCNEWS4 Kids blends some fancy attention-grabbing animation, and the sites are geared away from blood and guts. And while the stories aren't the cutting-edge news, they are topical and more important, generate young interest.

If you doubt how essential it is for junior to be up on the latest current events, talk to California elementary-school educator Trisha Hussian. "It is extremely important for kids to know what is going on in the world," she says. "If you close them off, they are going to find out about it in a different way."

But, she notes, there are some issues in the news that may be too complex for the very young to get their heads around, abortion and the death penalty, for instance. But to not discuss some headlines would be "selling them short on some amazing things that are in the news."

When is a good time to start pointing your kids in the news direction? "If they are showing an interest," comments Hussian, "go with it."

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