Tips on how to explain the protests to your children

As unrest spreads throughout the country in the wake of the death of George Floyd in police custody, it has parents of all colors facing the challenge of explaining what’s happening to their children. 

Psychiatrist Dr. Marc Dalton of Dalton Public Health Consultants says it may be difficult, but do talk about it, regularly. 

He says younger kids just want to be assured that they are safe, you are safe and their friends of all colors are safe. 

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Dalton says it’s important to limit the amount of news coverage they’re exposed to. 

"The issue is the same things played over and over and over again, and for younger minds, they don't understand the concept that it ends," said Dalton. 

He says for preteens, "They're gonna have friends who are gonna be going through the same struggle, so parents can say 'how are your friends doing?' that's a good way to gauge how they're doing and open the conversation." 

For teenagers and early adults, certain movies or books may help spark conversation.

Families in the D.C. region have many resources as well, including visits to the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. 

Dalton does caution, “If you see the child starts having symptoms of not being themselves -- not sleeping, not eating, being more irritable, starting to not care about their school work -- then we have another problem we need to start worrying about.”