My children look forward to watching the news every evening. They enjoy hearing about what's going on in the world, even if they don't understand all the details.
Occasionally there's even a news story that prompts a deep discussion, such as embryonic stem cell research or the war in Iraq. Watching the news together as a family has become an important part of our homeschool and a valuable part of our children's education.
I realize that there are opposite schools of thought on the subject of letting your children watch the news — whether or not to shelter them from the evil that goes on in our world. And I do respect the choices other families might make, even if they differ from our own.
But for my husband and me, we want our children to be aware of the world around them, even from a very young age. Yes, we want to protect them from the bad people out there, but at the same time, we want them to know that there are bad people out there, people who have a completely different value system (or no system at all).
That reality of a fallen world is what every adult will have to face, and our job as parents is to train our children to become responsible adults. We don't want them to be surprised when they leave home that there is real pain and suffering and evil in the world. We want them to have already developed a healthy perspective, which means that we must teach them now about both the good and bad that exists and help them to develop a Christian worldview.
We also want them to see that there are children who grow up hungry or in war torn nations. That awareness helps allows them to develop a more realistic and healthy perspective about life, where they realize that not everyone in the world lives like they do. And perhaps the result will be more gratitude for what they do have instead of complaints about what they don't have. Seeing that not everyone lives in a free, affluent country may even encourage them to want to share the hope of Christ with the rest of the world. And what would be a better result than that?
So how about you? Do you let your children watch the news? Why or why not?