News can be confusing. Here’s how to teach kids to be expert fact-checkers.

Reliable news and fake stories live together on the internet. These tips can turn children into expert truth-seekers.

On a daily basis, news organizations are calling out facts versus lies told by people on different sides of controversial issues. And our social media feeds are likely flooded with real news and misinformation that look exactly alike.

So what exactly is the truth? That’s hard for adults to answer—and even harder for kids to understand. An experiment conducted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology found that adults believed false “news” reports about 20 percent of the time. And a poll by Common Sense Media found that less than half of kids surveyed said they could tell fake stories from real ones.

It’s challenging for kids to make sense of today’s confusing media environment when adults themselves struggle to understand it. The following tips from the new Nat Geo book Breaking the News offers simple steps kids can follow to tell the difference between authentic news and misinformation. They’ll help encourage children to think independently and become responsible digital citizens—so kids are not only responsible for themselves, but also for what they share with others.

More in family

How to keep your kid digitally healthy
Talking to kids about the election
Teach your kids to be expert fact-checkers.