Picture from 11 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope With Bad News
Author Beverly Flaxington feels the way parents cope with and react to negative news may greatly influence their children's anxiety about current events. Image ©Adobe Stock

11 Ways to Help Your Kids Cope With Bad News

Hear our complete interview with Beverly Flaxington, author of Self Talk For A Calmer You, on our Parent Previews Podcast.


If you are finding it increasingly difficult to listen to the latest news, your kids are likely even more affected. Between political frictions and international tensions, it’s easy to become a little anxious about what the future holds.

Beverly Flaxington is a bestselling author of business books and she also writes for Psychology Today. Her latest book, Self Talk For A Calmer You, offers parents some essential advice on how to help their children walk through the maze of media messages that seem focused on inciting fear. But first it starts with the parents!

1. Avoid “all or nothing” thinking. How this is the beginning of the end of something.

2. Use a technique called “reframing” to put a frame around bad news and re-describe to ourselves.

3. Don’t assume the worst will happen. “This feeds on itself and it’s hard to get out of that cycle,” advises Beverly.

4. Understand how the news industry works. Negative news sells ads.

5. Social media is also prone to promote negative news. People “like” negative stories and they proliferate.

6. Counteract “bad news” by hanging out with people who are more positive.

7. Create your own “good news” by participating in your community and helping others. And involve your kids too!

8. Parents, be careful with your language and how you describe things. Avoid statements like, “Nothing is going well!”

9. Encourage kids to find one good moment in each day. Write them on a piece of paper, put them in a box, and read them when needing a lift.

10. Encourage kids to have a voice. Help them write to decision makers and political leaders. Demonstrate how they can influence the world.

11. Promote positive “self-talk”. “Are you telling yourself you’re an awful person? Or that nothing is ever going to work? If we can teach this concept a lot earlier in life, we would have many more happier adults,” advises Beverly.

Beverly Flaxington’s book, Self Talk for A Calmer You is available from major book sellers. To buy from Amazon.com, click the link below…