Brutal wars, tragic air crashes, grisly beheadings... it's now a fact of life that we are disturbed regularly by stomach-churning news and current affairs.
The latest heartbreaking images of exhausted and desperate migrants are top of mind. The senseless deaths of children and their parents, and the grief of adults doing all they can to protect their young, leave us stunned and triggered by powerful emotions.
This includes the very young.
As a professional, I am frequently asked how we can explain this sort of heartbreak, and these sorts of images, to our children. Parents are first and foremost teachers. Our children look at us to gauge our reactions and make sense of what they hear.
So how to help children deal with disturbing current affairs, while managing our own volatile and powerful feelings? Here are some simple tips.
Preschool to seven-year-old
It's easy to assume very young children have no idea what is going on, but actually they are very tuned in to parents' feelings, and they pick this by tone of voice and facial expression.
Further, the younger a child is, the more he or she will be drawn to scenes depicting faces expressing strong emotions, particularly images of children's faces. The way the news is presented - the same segment of video playing on repeat, for example, where it appears someone is alive, then dead again - can be very confusing for young minds.
In this case, it's best to simply protect young children from disturbing images of tragic stories. Wait until they are in bed before watching the news or looking at videos online.
If a very small child wants to know how or why those people, or that child, died, it's alright to simply distract them by saying, "It happened far away and you don't need to worry - you are safe."
At this age, children are primarily concerned with your safety and separation from you. They will want to know, "Who will look after me?" and need reassurance that there is nothing for them to worry about.
Children aged eight - 12 years
The majority of children in this age group can handle a discussion of threatening events. But the very sensitive or worried child, when exposed to repetitive images of tragedy, will feel more anxiety.
I recently worked with a little girl of nine who was worried about being abducted. She told me she had seen this described on the television news. She had never told her parents how scared she was.
Talk through with children what they have heard on the news, even if they don't raise the topic themselves - and encourage a discussion of their thoughts to help them to put these into balance.
Children of this age are staring to develop their own moral beliefs. It really helps to explain the basis of prejudice, bias and religious strife - and monitor where they are going on the internet, including their access to disturbing images.
In many instances, teens will already have absorbed the news and discussed it with their peers - independently of you. Engaging with them about world events is important and can offer great insights into their own developing politics and sense of justice.
Take the opportunity to add your own thoughts to the mix, without dismissing theirs.
Older children are starting to develop their political world views and opinions; they need to know you are interested in how they feel, and they need encouragement when it comes to articulating their own views in a discussion.
Whatever or however you communicate with your children about disturbing news events, watch carefully for their emotional reactions. Some will be very matter of fact about what has happened-others may have become worried and distressed.
Talk honestly and reassuringly with facts that are suitable, and remind them that there are good people out there who do all they can to help. If you can see an opportunity to become involved, let your children know what you are doing and why it matters to you to become active.
In the face of the relentless newsfeed, take care of yourself and your own emotions too.
Strike a balance between staying informed and becoming swamped. We can't control events but we can learn to manage the input, and to pass that skill on to our children.