Talking to your children about Capitol Hill riots

The images are hard to see, especially for children
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 11:38 AM CST|Updated: Jan. 8, 2021 at 11:43 AM CST
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(CNN) – Riots and destruction, anger and fear, Americans watched an attack on the nation’s capital this week by supporters of the president.

The images are hard to see, especially for children.

“There are many teachable moments in this and it’s quite a challenge to show just enough of the information to teach on, but not so much that you create a sensation of children not feeling safe,” said Ken Yeager, director of the Stress, Trauma and Resilience Program at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

How much you tell the child depends on their age, maturity level and other factors. Then, you need to listen to what the child has to say.

“I think it’s important for parents to acknowledge to their kids, ‘I’m having some of the same feelings you are, too’ … assuring the child that this is a normal response to an abnormal circumstance,” Yeager said.

Limits are important, too. Make sure their exposure to current events isn’t overwhelming.

Year suggests taking steps to make your child feel safe, grounding them in the moment.

“Just because there are bad things going on around you, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s coming directly toward you,” he said.

Finally, let your child know they can always come to you to talk.

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