How to talk to your children about the country’s political climate

By: Jasmine Arenas

Originally appeared in KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) — Wednesday’s drastic events at the U.S. Capitol were undoubtedly difficult enough for the nation to watch unfold, but how do you help your child understand after seeing from their own perspective?

A OnePoll survey says one in three parents are disheartened by the state of the country and even sadder about having to explain it to their child.

“I tried to explain what is going on and it is a difficult conversation because they do not understand the whole dynamics,” said one parent we spoke to.

Vincent Atchity, President and CEO of Mental Health Colorado, says though children might not fully grasp the concept of the climate of our country, it might be helpful to not expose them to the images and videos of violence shown.

“Those kinds of scenes of violence and disruption are extremely disturbing, they can trouble kids sleep, they can give them nightmares they can unsettle their notions around institutional stability and things like that,” said Atchity.

He suggests depending on their age, parents can determine how detailed they are in explaining what is going on to their children.

“What we should not say is something perpetuating unreality, we’re gonna have parents that are raising kids to believe that parading a Confederate flag around the U.S. Capitol was an appropriate expression of outrage, or that the election was stolen. I would say do not perpetuate those false notions,” continued Atchity.

He also suggests what might help is breaking down the current political climate and comparing it to something simpler they can relate to. For instance, sportsmanship.

“Sportsmanship has always been the hallmark of political transitions in power in the United States, in this particular case we have a lack of sportsmanship on the part of a sitting president who never learned those skills apparently in the course of his childhood and followers who are not able to accept with dignity and grace a loss,” expressed Atchity.

Lastly, he suggests parents teach their children to work together because collective cooperation and political will is what rules in this country.