Where do kids get their news (and are there better sources)?

With so many news sources available, it may surprise you to hear that most kids age 10–18 get their news from their families, teachers, and friends. Half of all kids get their news from online media such as social-networking sites. Tweens are much less likely than teens to use online media for news. Facebook and YouTube are the biggest sources of news for tweens and teens, according to Common Sense Media's study, News and America's Kids: How Young People Perceive and Are Impacted by the News.

This means that parents must take care when sharing news and information. Knowing how much our words, actions, and reactions affect kids is a big responsibility. But it's also an opportunity to share our wisdom, experience, and personal values. As our kids grow into independent, information-seeking teens, parents can guide them toward quality sources and help them learn to use good judgment when evaluating sources.

Just by interacting in a world with 24/7 news, kids will hear and see a lot of misinformation -- on the school playground, from their friends, on the internet, and from other iffy sources. Parents can use popular kids' media as a resource, both for gaining firsthand knowledge about the news and exploring newsworthy subjects. Try these:

Kid-friendly news sources. Check out these news sites designed just for kids.

Books. Both fiction and nonfiction books for kids of all ages deal with newsworthy issues in stories that kids can relate to and remember. Check out some of the books on these lists to help kids learn more about current events: Educational Books, Book Report Books, Books to Talk About, and Kids' Books About 9/11.

Games, Apps, and Sites. Believe it or not, "playing" through situations inspired by the news can help kids learn about and grapple with newsworthy issues. Try: Historical Figures Apps and Games, Social Studies Apps, Games, and Websites, Global Awareness Apps, Games, and Websites, Government Apps, Games, and Websites, and Games That Teach History.

Fact-checking sites. These fact-checking sites help tweens and teens find accurate, credible media sources.

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