Dealing with the bad stuff
Frightening news:
Frightening Events
When you hear about terrible earthquakes and floods, you might feel a little afraid. Feeling scared of disasters is normal. Fear can even be a good thing - when we're afraid of danger, we're more cautious. However, don't let your fears rule you. Instead, learn to manage your emotions. Here are six tips for you.

Be media smart - If you watch, read or listen to adult news, you may find the stories and pictures upsetting. That's because adult media companies are not like schools. At schools, principals and teachers are careful about what pictures and words they use. They know what is good and not good for kids. Adult media companies are not usually thinking about all this. They're busy competing with each other to grab adults' attention. That's why the pictures and stories about disasters are the way they are. They weren't meant for kids in the first place.

Don't torture yourself - As you see and hear about a natural disaster, you may wonder if something like it is going to happen to you. If you're reading this, then you're old enough to know that it is possible. But then, there are a million other things that can happen to you - far too many to worry about each and every possibility. If you did that, you would land up spending every minute of every hour thinking of nothing else! Surely you don't want to live like that, do you? That's why it's so important to learn to control such thoughts.

You do need to know what is happening in the world. But, it's unhealthy to torture yourself with pictures and words that are not meant for kids. So, walk away from adult news when it upsets you. If adults around you talk about the gory details and you can't leave, it's perfectly all right to politely ask if they can change the topic for your sake.

Talk about your fears - You don't have to be embarrassed about fear. Talk about it. Share your thoughts with people who care. That'll encourage them to share their thoughts as well. Together, you can come up with some good ideas for dealing with fear. And, urge each other to be unafraid to carry on with life as usual.

Work through your emotions - Do what you enjoy to allow your mind to work through your thoughts and feelings. By trying out different activities, you'll soon discover what really helps you. And so, watch funny cartoons, doodle, paint, write poetry, sing, dance, jog, swim, play outdoors or do whatever else that works for you.

Reach out and help - There are two main ways in which kids can help survivors of disasters. At school or in your neighbourhood, look out for kids from Myanmar and Sichuan. Tell them that you feel sad about what has happened there. Listen to them if they feel like talking about it. The second way to help is to donate clothes and other essentials. Get permission from your parents or guardians. If you don't know where to give the donations, ask at school where the closest collection centre is.

Trust adults in charge - Know that there are many strong, caring adults around you. Even complete strangers will protect kids if something bad happens. Many of them know what to do in emergencies. For that matter, you yourself would have learnt some basics at school about what to do. Take those fire drills and other emergency exercises seriously. Help the adults in charge to help you. Also, know that, just as Singapore helps countries struck by natural disasters, other countries and international organisations will rush to help us, too.

Learning to cope with bad news is a life skill. With some practice, you can tune in to what is happening in the world and yet not be floored by the news. Instead, you'll be able to help yourself and others deal positively with whatever is happening.

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