DEAR HARRIETTE: My husband and I are news junkies. These days, everything seems so sad and scary. War seems to be erupting all over the place. Add to that all kinds of natural disasters. It is awful. Even so, we can't get enough of it. And there is our problem: We have 11-year-old twin sons who are often around when the news is on in the background, and it's beginning to wear on them. The other night they wanted to know if we were going to be bombed like the people in Israel. We attempted to calm them down, but obviously we are the reason they are upset in the first place -- well sort of. How can we get our news fix without upsetting our kids? -- Wanting It All, Laredo, Texas
DEAR WANTING IT ALL: Turn the TV off and talk to your husband about your family. Bring up the conversation points that your children have mentioned, and speak honestly about why they even know all of the detail that has gotten them upset.
Your first responsibility has to be to your children. In this case, it means turning off the TV when they are at home, or at least turning it to child-appropriate channels. With new technology, you can record your program choices to watch after they go to sleep or when they are in another room. You must discipline yourselves to consume news out of their earshot. They will still learn about current events in passing, so you will have to educate them about some of the dangerous things that are happening in their world, but they do not need to be bombarded by it.