When Bad News Happens…

The blanket media coverage given to the events at Westfield Bondi on the weekend present a whole bunch of challenges to parents.

How to explain to young kids what has happened and why? How to balance their curiosity about the world around them with a desire to protect their innocence? How – importantly – not to make them feel more anxious than they already do about the world they’re growing up to inherit.

It’s something we wrestle with daily here at Squiz Kids as we compile the daily news podcast. Our north star always is to produce a pod that’s informative without being sensational – and always with a view to making kids feel reassured and safe.

And because the news is inescapable, I’ve highlighted below an excellent article on how to talk to kids about traumatic events they may have seen in the news media.

For those of us in Queensland, WA and Victoria – it’s a big welcome back after what I hope has been a restful Easter break. Because school holidays are so relaxing, aren’t they? 😂

For those of you in NSW, SA, the ACT and Tassie – off you go! Fill your boots and enjoy the hols.

My family Easter camping trip to Lennox Head went very well, thank you for asking – as the photo below shows. Only a few spits of rain, not a single broken limb and a relatively reasonable amount of chocolate consumed on Easter Sunday.

At Squiz Kids HQ we’re back to normal programming from this week – and have a bunch of exciting content in the offing for the school term ahead.

One small favour if I may: whether you’re kicking back on vacation these next two weeks or back into the daily grind – if you can find time to recommend Squiz Kids to at least three of your friends, we’d really appreciate it.

We love punching out the daily news podcast and Classroom Companions, the Shortcuts, Squiz The Worlds, Q+As and Newshounds. And we love being able to make it all available for free. But we need to keep growing to continue to make it viable. So if you like what we do – tell your friends. We’d be mightily obliged.

Kia ora from New Zealand 🇳🇿

I took advantage of the short break in daily podcasting proceedings to hop across the ditch to Auckland – for the New Zealand launch of Newshounds.

Thanks to our friends at the Google News Initiative, we’ve been able to extend our free media literacy resource for primary school kids to our cuzzy bros across the Tasman.

And boy, are they a welcoming bunch!

I spent three days in Auckland for a series of meetings and media engagements – including an interview on Radio New Zealand (RNZ) and a great sit-down chat and interview with the New Zealand Herald (pictured below).

It will come as no great surprise to any parents or teachers out there that our Kiwi counterparts are at least as worried as we are about the amount of information our kids are exposed to online every day – and therefore, inevitably, the amount of misinformation and disinformation to which they’re exposed and susceptible.

No fewer than 64 elections will take place globally this year. And you can be as certain as that photo of me in the paper below is cringeworthy that that will also mean a significant uptick in the amount of disinformation that will be floating around.

All the more reason to make sure your kids’ classroom is among the more than 2,000 around the country (and now in Aotearoa!) who have signed up to become Newshounds. Check it out here.

This week on Squiz Kids …

The start of a new school term seems like a good time to remind you of our weekly programming schedule.

Every Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, we publish an edition of Squiz Kids Today .. a kid-friendly take on the big news headlines – plus lots of fun stuff in the news about the big wide world around us.

On Tuesdays, you’ll be treated to either a Squiz Kids Shortcut – a deep dive on a fun topic or issue in the news – or a Squiz The World, where we hop into the Squiz Kids Super Fast Supersonic Jetliner and pay a virtual visit to a different culture. Tomorrow we’re off to Turkiye. Perfect as we hurtle towards Anzac Day.

And of course, on Fridays you can test to see who’s been paying the most attention to the week that just was in our celebrated Kids v Adult Weekly News S’Quiz.

And for teachers: be sure to check out our teacher-designed Classroom Companions – the super-excellent classroom worksheets tied to a story in the podcast that come out every Monday. Sign up at squizkids.com.au.

 Meanwhile on The Big Squiz …

In a very hard news weekend, the 28-minute Bluey special was a bright spot for many of us. If you’ve ever wondered about the business of Bluey – perhaps as you eyed all the merch scattered around your house – then tune into this episode of News Club, as Kate and Claire unpack the billion-dollar-buck success story.

Also of interest from The Squiz this week is this Shortcuts episode on TikTok, and why some countries are making a big push to ban it, including the US.

By the way, if you do find that keeping up with the news can be a bit anxiety-inducing at times, do give The Squiz Today newsletter a go – it’ll keep you informed without overwhelming you. And there’s always a lighter news story or two to give a bit of balance.

On our radar …

We’re up to our eyeballs all day, everyday in all things kids and parenting. So when we see an article or come across a topic we think you might be interested in, we’ll post it here.

Kids and trauma … this article contains some great advice on how to talk to kids impacted by traumatic events covered in the news media.  Especially useful as we all reel from the weekend’s awful stabbing deaths at Sydney’s Westfield Bondi Junction.

Sextortion … if your kid is online, then you need to educate them about sextortion – the disturbing trend of scammers blackmailing teens who’ve been induced to send them nude photos.

Smile on your dial … 

If you haven’t yet treated yourself to the special, 28-minute long episode of Bluey that dropped on ABC i-view yesterday morning, do yourself a favour, drop everything and get involved. The way the writers on that show manage to so deftly craft a perfectly-formed piece of children’s television that entertains kids while resonating with every adult watching is truly something to behold. Enjoy.

Stay up to date with Squiz Kids

Have Bryce join you in your inbox every Monday as he attempts to stay a step ahead of the kids. Also: parenting, education, media literacy, and a bit of fun...

Latest Blog Posts

An ode to simpler times

I’ve just spent the weekend with my folks in Sydney, helping them pack up their home of 54 years as…

View recipe

Choosing hope in a bleak time

Before I threw myself headlong into the world of podcasting, I was senior writer at the Australian Womens’ Weekly (among…

View recipe

Why media literacy has never been more important

It’s been a big few weeks in the news cycle. Between the awful events at Sydney’s Bondi Westfield, the riots…

View recipe