Talking With Children About Elections, Violence and Current Events

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Coping with the flood of information available these days can be challenging, even when utterly unexpected events aren’t overtaking us. Talking calmly and comfortingly with children about current events may feel like it’s almost impossible. That’s particularly true when a situation turns violent, as it did in the recent storming of the U.S. Capitol building.

To build a world in which the current division and distress doesn’t become the norm, we need to help kids find ways to make sense of the problems facing us without being overwhelmed by them. (And it wouldn’t hurt for us to learn some new coping skills either.)

Whether difficult conversations are smooth or tricky for your family, sharing a book can be a good starting point. Books can feel like a (slightly) safer way to introduce distressing topics. They can also offer the opportunity to evaluate—or even try out—a variety of ways to respond.

Titles below can help you talk with an older child about “fake news” and elections, reassure a younger child that there are plenty of good people who want to help others or offer an invitation to your child to express their emotions. If these titles don’t contain the information you’re looking for or cover topics that are important to you, consider asking for personalized assistance.

To get a list curated just for you and your family, use the Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you are hoping to find.

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.

Vote for Our Future!

The students of Stanton Elementary School, which is a polling place, find out all they can about voting and then encourage everyone in their neighborhoods to cast their ballots.

What Is an Election?

Readers will learn about where and how democracy began and how it has developed over the years.

What's the Big Deal About Elections?

Did you know that Election Day is on Tuesday because that was the best day for farmers to vote? Or that George Washington was our only elected president who ran unopposed? Or that Native Americans were only given the right to vote in 1924? It’s all true! You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

I Promise

An inspiring, rhyming picture book that reminds readers that tomorrow’s success starts with the promises we make to ourselves and our community today.

If Kids Ran the World

In text and pictures, this book tells us how much better the world would be, if kids were allowed to run the world.

Kindness Makes Us Strong

This story shows various children as they extend kindness in all kinds of situations: on the playground, at lunchtime, on a bike path and on a neighborhood street. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

Something Bad Happened: A Kid's Guide To Coping With Events in the News

When we learn about something bad – even when we hear only bits and pieces of it – our brains get busy trying to make sense of what we’ve heard. Seeing distressing events on the news, or hearing about them later, can feel scary and overwhelming. Talking about what happened, and how we feel about it, is hugely important.

The Breaking News

With bad news in the air, Mom is glued to the television, and Dad is constantly checking his phone; it is up to the children to remind them they are still there.

I'm Worried

Potato is worried about what might happen in the future, causing Flamingo to worry, too, but their friend, a little girl, encourages them to focus on enjoying the present, instead. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

When I Feel Worried

A young guinea pig describes situations that make her worry, what being worried feels like and how she can stop worrying. Includes note to parents and teachers. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Worry (Less) Book: Feel Strong, Find Calm, and Tame Your Anxiety!

We all have a mixture of fun and not-so fun feelings. And everyone feels worried sometimes. But too much anxiety can get in the way. So this book is here to help you identify your anxiety, understand why it’s just part of life, and equip you with all the tools you need to find calm again.