Officials at Applied Psychological Services give tips on how to talk to kids about current events

With the most recent event being the protests over racial injustice..the approach varies and depends on what your family believes in, according to Miller.
Applied Psychological Services

JOPLIN, Mo -Amanda Kennedy started talking to her daughters about COVID-19 and the protests happening in the country.

“They know that there a lot of things going on and some people are doing good things and some people are not doing good things and there are a lot of sick people right now so I had to explain that to them.”

She says it’s hard for them to understand at only 1 and 3 years old, but that it’s important to discuss it.

“The younger they know the better, they’re growing up in a crazy world and its better for them to know now than you know figure it out on their own.”

Mindy Miller with Applied Psychological Services in Joplin says there is no certain age to start talking to your kids about current events.

“As a parent it’s our job to help them to feel safe and to explain things to them really on their age level and that’s going to be very different depending on your child, some are very Intune to what’s going on in the world and some don’t seem to be paying very much attention at all.”

She says you should first ask your child what they already know.

When it comes to COVID-19, limited information may be what’s best for younger children, but you can go into more detail on what is going on as they age.

“Their brains are developing and the older they get they’re going to have a greater understanding of what’s going on around them and some of those developmental stages happen and you’re not even aware until you have those discussions with them.”

And provide a calm environment for discussions.

“If we’re very concerned and very worried and scared, we’re going to put that off on our children, so saying comforting things like people are angry right now, people are scared right now, do you have any questions about that?”

With the most recent event being the protests over racial injustice ..the approach varies and depends on what your family believes in, according to Miller.

“Children will notice that they have differences in colors and skin and it’s okay for them to be aware of that and for us to celebrate that and that were not the same color, but we’re all awesome, and so choosing to be kind is a great first step for younger children. Older children may want to make signs, maybe they want to write down their feelings.”

And reassure your kids it’s okay as they get older to have different opinions from you.

“It’s not necessary that we all believe the exact same way and its perfectly normal say for teenagers to view things differently than our parents do” said Miller.

But to always keep the conversations going.

“It’s important that we all continue to have these conversations and I don’t think there’s an age where we age out talking to our kids.”