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Old 07-02-2012, 08:31 AM   #1
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At what age can a child handle graphic images of starving children etc.

Just wondering what your thoughts are.

My daughter is 4 and she saw some pictures of starving children in Africa on the tv. I didn't say much but just explained that some children have no food to eat and are very very hungry and sick that is why we should always appreciate our food that we have and that we have a nice house to live in etc. She walked away and said 'I don't like to see that' and started crying. I think she is quite sensitive. I just held her and told her it's ok, but she kept crying and saying 'I don't understand why God doesn't make them some more food, he should just do that so they don't have to be starving'.

Anyway, she settled down, but before bed she told me she can't get those pictures out of her head, so I suggested we pray that God will help those children and maybe we can work out a way that we can send some money to a child over there to help them get some food to eat. That seemed to make her feel better but she was very disturbed by the whole thing.

When do you think is old enough to be able to deal with this stuff. Obviously it is a part of life and you can't hide everything away, but I am not sure that she was ready to handle that just yet.

eta: On the plus side I was able to reiterate to her why she should never say 'Yuck' to food even if she doesn't like it, and why we are always thankful for what we have.


Last edited by jellybelly37; 07-02-2012 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:34 AM   #2
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Re: At what age can a child handle graphic images of starving children etc.

I have a feeling it is more personality based than age based.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:01 AM   #3
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I was one of those children who was extremely sensitive about the starving kids. I cried when the commercials came on tv and begged my mom to send money and food. I eventually grew out of it and learned that its just the way the world is. I don't think there will be a magical age when this will not disturb a child, or anyone for that matter. People are starving to death, and that's very sad. I saved some money to donate as a child, and that helped me to feel that I was at least helping the situation. My mom actually donated it, and I'm not sure to where, as I was too young.
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Old 07-02-2012, 09:46 AM   #4
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Re: At what age can a child handle graphic images of starving children etc.

oh wow, yet another reason I'm so glad we don't have cable...I think my 4 year old daughter would react exactly like this. I think once kids start school and start learning more about the world in general it might be more easily handled - but a sensitive 4 year old who has no real concept of the world at large would obviously most likely be disturbed. Like a PP said, it's probably based a lot on temperament too, but I very closely monitor what my 4 year old is exposed to because I don't feel like she's ready to see or hear a lot of what goes on in the world. When we visit my parents they like to have CNN on all the time, and I make them turn it off. No, you can't shelter them forever, but I don't see why sheltering them from things that will upset that, that they can't really comprehend, is a bad thing.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:18 AM   #5
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Re: At what age can a child handle graphic images of starving children etc.

I just saw one and was wondering the same about my daughter. She wasn't listening to it and just commented that they were very cute children. As a child I was the same as pp and was sobbing and tormented by the thought of starving children.
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Old 07-02-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Re: At what age can a child handle graphic images of starving children etc.

umm.. I can't handle it.

so maybe 34? 35? 40?

Those commercials make me want to sell everything, board a plane and start a school/soup kitchen. They do not, however, generally make me want to make a donation to the companies of which I have a general mistrust on how they spend their money. Luckily, I do know actual missionaries to send donations to and I can feel confident that the money is going to the mission/children rather than a corporation.

I would offer her that opportunity. If you're Christian, through a church. Or if not, perhaps you can find a company that you feel is trustworthy.
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