The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events

The last few years offered a reality of unprecedented times that led to a “new normal.” While we all want to put many of those events behind us, it seems like massive stories breaking on a daily basis has become a major part of our lives. All of that political and economic stress is likely to add some tension to your own home. This can make discussing current events with your teenage kids even more challenging. Saying the right thing about difficult topics comes with a certain amount of pressure for parents. Here are a few tips to help you navigate the process.

Be Open to Learn From Each Other

Mature man with his son sitting on a couch and gossiping
The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events

Parents and teens consume news differently and look for information from different channels and resources. As you are preparing to discuss a current event or recent news, you need to go into the conversation prepared to learn from each other and not just offer your side of the story. Letting your teen feel heard as they are articulating their opinions and thoughts is a key element in having an engaged conversation.

Discuss the Role of Social Media

The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events

Everyone trusts different platforms, media, and news channels. It’s important to remember that when you are starting a discussion about the latest events. Instead of labeling some platforms as untrustworthy and others as dependable, take the diplomatic approach. Create an open exchange of information with your teen — share the news sources you find trustworthy and ask them to introduce the ones they prefer. That will help you understand the type of content your kids are exposed to online and how you can discuss the role of social media in their lives.

Remember That Teens Consume Current News Differently

The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events
The Best Way to Talk to Teens About Current News and Events

As a parent, you could be tempted to forbid your teen from using social media to protect them from the world. Viral footage is instantly shared, and anyone with a smartphone can consume that information. Since teens spend the largest amount of time on their phones, they’re constantly subjected to a flow of information, and that can easily overwhelm them. Be sure to check in with your teen and help them find balance by reminding them to take physical breaks from social media, their phones, and even current news.

How to Help Kids Through Their First Breakup: Tips From the Source

Breakups are never easy, no matter your age. The first breakup, however, is possibly the hardest of them all — as everything is new and you have no prior experience to draw from. As your kids are growing up, they will undoubtedly go through the emotional whirlwind of breakups and heartache. So, how can you help them through these hardships? Teenagers have the answer!

How to Help Kids Through Their First Breakup: Tips From the Source

Be Supportive and Available Throughout the Breakup

Every teen is different when it comes to their first breakup. Some would need you to be proactive and offer advice, while others would like you to give them space. Regardless of the approach, however, it’s crucial to let your teen know you are there for them. If they need a shoulder to cry on, you will be there. When they just want to talk or share the silence with you, you will be there. Make sure they know that.

Help Them Validate Their Feelings

One of the hardest parts about dealing with a breakup is knowing that you’re not alone in it. By sharing stories of your own heartbreaks with your teen, you can help them feel validated in their feelings. What this does is it solidifies for them that it’s okay to feel upset, sad, hurt, agitated, and all those other emotions that are going through them.

Being open about your own experience may feel uncomfortable at first, but it’s a key element in making your kid feel safe to reciprocate that openness and let you in. It will make you more relatable, and it can really help strengthen your bond. Even if you don’t have a similar experience to share with your teen, just being there to listen, nod along, and offer a warm hug is enough.

Check-In and Listen

Going through a breakup, no matter if it’s the first or tenth, is a process. The first few weeks are the hardest and it’s important to often check in with your teen and focus on listening as opposed to giving advice. They might repeat the same things over and over again, but that’s just part of the healing process. Your persistent support is the best thing you can offer to anyone going through heartbreak, and that is especially true when it comes to your kids. You are their stronghold and seemingly small things like being there to listen will eventually amount to the big thing — a heart that is healing.

A latin mature father and his teenage son sitting on a bench, talking and looking at each other in a horizontal waist up shot outdoors. The Bottom Line

When it comes to breakups, it’s your job as a parent to reassure your kids that you love and support them, and they will never be truly alone because they have you. While your teen will probably prefer to confide in their friends — showing that you’re always there for them is a major step to helping them heal and learn from this experience.