How to talk to your kids about protests
Across the country and in our own communities, we’ve seen protests over the death of George Floyd.
Images pop up on our televisions or our phones at a time when many families are staying home to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s likely children will come across the videos and images and for parents, it can be a difficult topic to address.
"I had a friend that had reached out to me this week and just said, 'I have a son and I don't know how to explain this to him. I don't know what's appropriate to share, but I want to get him involved,'" said CEO of Brynn Marr Hospital Allison Davenport.
Davenport says when it comes explaining the events that are unfolding in our nation to children, open communication is best.
"When approaching this conversation with children, it's appropriate to open the lines of communication early. Talk through their concerns. You might choose not to include all of the specifics in that discussion, but lean into that discussion and help them understand what they're being exposed to from your perspective,"Davenport explained.
She says it’s important for a parent to explain why they think the protests are happening and the facts of the situation in a language that kids can relate to and understand.
"Openly addressing these fears is much more beneficial than avoiding the topic, as these discussions reduce their anxiety and uncertainty,” said Davenport.
She says the weight of the news can be heavy on adults as well, so it’s important to take care of yourself. She says it’s beneficial for adults to take time to grieve and process what is happening and take a break from social media when necessary.
In doing so, Davenport says you can have a healthy mindset for your children to model.
“Know and understand that your kids are watching. They watch how you react, they watch what you say, they watch whether or not you welcome diversity in your own life. By modeling, you can help them determine their own purpose and responsibility,” said Davenport.
The Brynn Marr team is available at all times to give support to anyone who needs it.