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How to talk to your children about Wednesday's events at the Capitol

Posted at 9:00 PM, Jan 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-08 22:53:21-05

It’s been two days since supporters of President Donald Trump stormed and vandalized the Capitol as Congress attempted to certify the votes of the Electoral College.

Just was we all have questions, kids may have some too, especially with access to every detail of that day at our fingertips.

“For some parents it can be anxiety educing to have these conversations,” said Dr. Sam Fiala, Professor of Psychology at A&M Central Texas

Although it may not be as stressful as the birds and the bees talk, Dr. Fiala says some parents may be unsure of what to tell their kids when it comes to discussing Wednesday's events.

“Acting like it didn’t happen, we know that’s not a healthy way to process negative events. So sweeping it under the rug and not talking about it, it’s not a good idea, but being overly emotional about is not good either. So, like many things, it’s about moderation. You have to meet somewhere in the middle," Dr. Fiala explained.

The professor says maintaining a level head while discussing difficult topics is important for your children to see.

“You can tell your kids how you’re feeling- I was really upset, I was worried, I was angry, whatever those feelings are if you can tell them. Then that way, it’s safe and you’re not going to scare your kids. So they can say, "Oh yeah it’s okay to talk about emotions. It’s okay to talk about things."”

“This is a part of history. You know, these are things that we cannot change. They are a part of this history now,” said Shekeya McCallister.

With constant access to social media and her friends, McCallister says her preteen daughter had some things she wanted to know.

“She has asked a few questions, but like I told her, instead of her listening to her peers and listening and following on social media to come to me and talk to me about it we can research it together,” McCallister explained.

The mom says showing her daughter the whole picture and showing her how to do her own research about topics is key with helping her form her own opinion.

“I want to be able to instill that in my daughter and be a part of that. You know, not everybody in the world is... not everybody in the world breaks the law, you know?” said McCallister.

While younger kids may be oblivious, Dr. Fiala says for those who are old enough to comprehend what's going on, it can be beneficial to let them come to you to ensure you don’t bombard them with information that they can't process.