How to talk and help kids understand events at US Capitol

Child psychologist and parenting expert Reena Patel shares tips for parents.
2:01 | 01/16/21

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Transcript for How to talk and help kids understand events at US Capitol
In today's "Weekend download" those frightening images from the U.S. Capitol are difficult to process, especially for children. For more on how to talk to your kids about the violence that played out on our TVs is child psychologist and parenting expert Reena Patel. Thanks so much for joining us. I think many adults even are having a hard time making sense of what happened, what we saw. How do we explain this violence and the vandalism to our kids? It is important to have a conversation, a dialogue and just check in. First and foremost, we want to make sure if your child did witness images or hear conversations or anything that you make sure they feel safe. Oftentimes children personalize what they have seen and so safety comes to mind and so you want to reassure them. Find a safe place where they can talk to you about any concerns, any fears. It's also important to make sure that you are mindful of their developmental age. You want to make sure that you don't overdivulge information they weren't even thinking about. So first ask them what they saw, what they perceived, how they felt about it. That's really important. That is an important point. I've been surprised with how much my young kids have absorbed in all of this. But it's also important to talk about this because within the violent mob we saw a lot of symbols of hate and racism. How do we address those complicated issues? State the facts as simple as can be but address. Validate what they saw. They are very cognizant of what it was. Even teens are able to know that there was clearly a double standard. So talk about hate is never the option. Talk about also using this as a teachable moment that, yes, you can disagree. You can have opposing opinions. But how do we do it respectfully? Reena, thank you so much for your time this morning. We do appreciate it.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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