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How to talk to your kids about the Capitol attack

How to talk to your kids about the Capitol attack

Dining keys

  • Children may have trouble understanding the gap in the Chapter. This can lead to feelings of fear and anxiety.
  • Parents play an important role in reassuring children about their safety and helping them process frightening events, which are covered very carefully in the news.

We do not face a lack of terrifying moments in the news. This week, when a mob stormed the United States Chapter at the request of the incumbent president, the violent crowd shattered not only the sacred ground but also the nation’s already worn-out sense of security.

Following these events, people of all ages were left with an increased sense of anxiety. And, though the policy of a Often considered «adult business», the reality is that children often experience even more confusion and fear around what they do not understand.

Although you can’t fully protect your children from the ugliness of the world, you can help them process these events and restore their confidence that they are safe.

Even before children become active consumers of the media, it is important for them to learn to distinguish between precise and inaccurate sources and to participate in the media with an adult.


Promoting media literacy

Tracking your child’s news consumption can play an important role here. But if they have cell phones or have access to social networks , most likely they are already aware of what happened. He might even ask questions. They can be overwhelmed by the flow of information and images from the media, both from people and from accounts.

Limit your children’s exposure to media violence

«Ask your children what they’ve heard or might already know,» says Amy Morin, LCSW, a psychotherapist, author and editor-in-chief of Verywell Mind. «They may have some information and may be confused about what they hear.»

If your main source of news is social media, you are consuming a combination of facts, explosive opinions and misinformation. Media competence It is fundamental.

«Even before children become active consumers of the media, it is important to learn to distinguish between exact and inaccurate sources and to participate in the media with an adult,» he says. Erin O’Connor, Ed.D. , psychologist and director of the Early Childhood Program at New York University. «This early and monitored participation ensures that children develop these skills before their active participation without the constant supervision of an adult.»

Remind them of the nature of sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and TikTok – users are free to post just about anything they want, whether it’s fake or dangerous.

«Explain to your child that everything they learn on social media is unverified and that they should never base their beliefs on what social media is trying to convince them to believe,» says Tom Kersting, PhD. Psychotherapist and author. of Offline: How to protect your children from the harmful effects of device addiction .

If your child has not asked you what happened, do not leave him out. You may want to introduce them first by asking if they have any questions. It can act as a source of information they can trust.

When you’re reporting on Capitol Hill, be honest. However, keep in mind that you do not need to provide all the details that will only increase anxiety and fear in a young mind. Don’t complicate yourself.

«Keep the information short and age-appropriate,» says Morin. «If your child asks questions, you’ll know you’re interested in hearing more.»

Admit how you feel without burdening your children with adult problems. Tell them what you do to nurture their feelings and shape their healthy coping skills.


Relax and make sure

It is important to note that the rape in the Chapter joins a long list of overwhelming events in the last year. It is normal to feel scared and not know how to talk about it with your children. Sharing your own feelings, to some extent, with your child can be a valuable moment of honesty and connection. It is possible to shape your own feelings from the way you react.

«Admit how you feel without burdening your children with adult problems,» says Morin. «Tell them what you do to nurture their feelings and shape their healthy coping skills.»

Reinforce positive thinking, emphasize probability over possibility, and help your child generate coping statements such as “ Think about it, how many times has there been an attack this year? «These are some of the strategies that parents can use to reduce a child’s anxiety about the news.

Although it can be difficult to divert attention from those who misbehave, reminding your children of the people who work to help others can restore their confidence that they are safe. Indicate the career areas that focus on the well-being of others: doctors and nurses, teachers, social workers, firefighters, etc.

«Explain that while some adults make poor decisions right now, there are many more adults who are focused on keeping everyone safe,» says Morin.

In fact, you can assure them that you are one of those people.

«Remind them that your job as a parent or adult in their lives is to keep them safe,» he says. Dr. Parker Huston , pediatric psychologist and clinical director for On Our Sleeves at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. «Let them know you’re there to help them understand the situation and get through it.»

Discuss that it is okay to be upset and disagree with political issues. But it’s not okay to act on those feelings in a way that hurts other people.


Differentiate feelings of behavior

If your child is curious about the context of these events, you can take this opportunity to talk honestly and openly about feelings and behavior. And it is important to establish the difference between the two.

Explain that adults do not always experience annoying feelings in a healthy way, and the events that took place are an example of this.

«Talk about being okay and I do not agree on political issues Says Morin. «But it’s not okay to act on those feelings in a way that hurts other people.»


Finally, strengthening your child’s sense of security is an act of empowerment. And if your child remains curious and engaged, point to him or join him to find resources that will lift rather than perpetuate the cycles of fear and anxiety .

«You can highlight ways to make a difference in your community appropriately,» says Huston. «Read books about activists you admire or watch children’s videos on the subject. Show them that they can be active in changing change without using violence or aggression. ”

However, it is important to keep a close eye on whether your child is overwhelmed, anxious, or afraid because of the media they use. You can make adjustments that allow your child to incorporate the carefree mindset that all children deserve.

«Encourage children to focus on the pleasure of being children,» says Kersting. «They can do politics as adults.»

What does this mean for you?

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed by news events, but your child will reflect your response. Having an open and honest conversation without revealing too many details can restore your child’s sense of security and alleviate anxiety.