With all of the media coverage of the protests happening around the world, children may be asking questions about what’s happening and why. Many parents are left unsure of how to talk to their kids about this.
Mom and family therapist, Tonya Hughes of Eau Claire says it’s necessary to have these conversations.
“You can ask them what they saw, what they noticed because then that’s your starting point. What does your kid notice about that,” said Hughes.
Therapists say each discussion surrounding the topic will vary depending on the child.
“You want the information to be age appropriate,” said HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital Behavioral Health Manager. “So a 3-year-old needs information that is plain and simple compared to someone that’s a 16-year-old.”
Many people agree that it is strongly needed to teach your kids about the protests going on surrounding George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter movement.
“I think it is very important to start at an early age just talking about differences that we have between different people,” said Alyssa Haukaas of Eau Claire. “They may look different, may sound different.”
University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire professor David Jones says parents also need to stay informed about the protests and other issues surrounding discrimination.
“I think it’s just a matter of helping yourself to understand the issues better and taking time as you need to feel like you have that desire to step into the conversation,” said Jones. “So I would really encourage everyone to strengthen those connections with people outside of our immediate circle.”
Therapists say even though these conversations can be tough, they’re very important ones to have.
“These conversations aren’t a one and done,” said Haukaas. “You have to make sure you have open ended questions and really engage in appropriate detail that’s needed based off their age.”
Parents say your local library as well as the internet are a good place to find resources to help you and your children better understand challenging topics.