Addressing the Violence at the U.S. Capitol With Your Kids: 5 Conversation Starting Points for Parents by Dr. Bethany Cook Clinical Psychologist

Parenting
3 months ago
Addressing the Violence at the U.S. Capitol With Your Kids: 5 Conversation Starting Points for Parents

Most of us are still in shock from what has transpired at the Capitol on January 6, 2021. As a parent, you need to really be able to communicate that this was not OK, along with the background of why

I didn’t expose my 5-year-old and 7-year-old with the news or with what was going on right away. This is because parents are human and we first need to process our own feelings and response first before talking to our children to minimize unneeded stress/worry. Once you have processed your feelings, it’s so important to discuss the recent events with them. Here are some starting points and topics that can be discussed with your kids:

  1. Tell them your belief and prospective and why. I believe what happened at the Capitol building is indeed an act of terrorism and an attempt to disrupt our nation's democracy and deny the people's vote to be heard.
  2. Let your children know they are safe. It’s important to explain to your children why some people use violence toward others. Individuals who use violence and vandalism toward others and society are exhibiting toxic and harmful coping skills for dealing with the cards life has dealt them and they feel entitled to something more.
  3. Share with your child about times when violence may be appropriate, and really that may only be to use as protection, if someone is attacking you or your family, not necessarily violence but defense. What you perceive as “dangerous” may not be the same for the next person and this is where things get muddy. Given that, it's important to be clear with your children about what is and isn’t acceptable social behavior such as basic manners and respect for other lives. If someone hits them can they hit back regardless? What if the person is smaller or mentally challenged?
  4. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. The internet is a wonderful and powerful tool which gives us access to a lot of information. One problem is that because there is so much information it’s hard to identify what’s “truth” vs. “myth/outright lie.” Several reputable sources are available to fact check events.
  5. Having differences is OK. Differences in opinions (red is better than blue) is totally fine and makes people and life interesting. What is harmful is when someone goes to extremes and believes that everyone should like red the best and anyone who doesn’t is stupid and should be treated with less respect and dignity. Moderation, compromise, collaboration and respect is the key.

The content on 30Seconds.com is for informational and entertainment purposes only, and should not be considered medical advice. The information on this site should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, and is not a substitute for professional care. Always consult your personal healthcare provider. The opinions or views expressed on 30Seconds.com do not necessarily represent those of 30Seconds or any of its employees, corporate partners or affiliates.

Take 30 seconds and join the 30Seconds community. Inspire and be inspired.

Related Products on Amazon We Think You May Like:

30Second Mobile, Inc. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Childhood Depression Tips for Parents: 14 Depression Signs & Symptoms to Watch for in Kids & Teenagers

How Do You Talk to Kids About the Riot at the Capitol Building? 3 Important Tips for Parents

How to Talk to Kids About the Capitol Riot: ​11 Tips to Help Children Process the Storming of the Capitol

Talking to Kids About Tragedy Is Hard: Here Are 5 Things Parents Need to Know

Julie Rose
This is so timely and helpful. ❤️
bepositive
Praying for our kids and our country. 🙏🏼
Elisa A. Schmitz 30Seconds
What happened at the Capitol was truly shocking and heartbreaking, and we are still reeling from it. Talking to young kids about this is so complicated (when many parents can't even understand it themselves). Many thanks for the very important insights, Dr. Bethany Cook Clinical Psychologist . We really appreciate you sharing your expertise, especially during these most difficult times!

join discussion

Please login to comment.

recommended tips

So Much Violence: 7 Ways Parents Can Reduce Anxiety & Feel Empowered, for Kids' Sake!

Parents As Role Models: 3 Ways to Be a "Rule Model" for Your Kids

Stop Talking to Your Kids: Here's How to Have a Conversation Instead

Pandemic Mental Health & Kids: 11 Ways to Support Your Child During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Got 30 seconds? Sign up for 30Seconds.com and get the best of our tips each week!