How Siouxland parents can talk to their kids about current events

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SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KCAU) – Following the chaos in Washington D.C. as protests turned violent,
parents are left having to explain to their children what took place on Capitol Hill.

“I saw him struggling to comprehend what was going on, and it brought a little fear because if he doesn’t know how to comprehend it, then how am I when I’m just 16?” Emmalee Schmith asked.

Schmith watched the news Tuesday alongside her dad.

“I felt that I was failing. We as parents want to be this pillar of strength and I wasn’t able to be that as much as I should’ve, as I thought I should’ve,” said Mike Schmith.

Mike Schmith said his daughter had questions he didn’t have the answers to.

“Conversation then it started with history and civics and what they’re going to do. It switched to this is how they’re going to protect themselves, to, I can’t explain why there wasn’t an immediate response like we saw in black lives matter,” Mike said.

One counselor said for younger children it may be best to limit exposure to television and social media and for all parents, there are a few things they can do to effectively explain to their child what’s happening around them.

“Of course they saw it. They’re seeing it. But, just reminding them that they’re safe. Making time to talk is the second one and just being honest. If you don’t know something and you don’t know the answer as an adult just be honest. I don’t know the answer to that, but I’m here to talk through it with you,” counselor Danielle Panowicz said.

Schmith said although it was a tough day for our country he hopes the events that unfolded teach his daughter to always reach out with an open hand instead of a clenched fist.

“I just kept reiterating that this was happening a thousand miles away. We weren’t in immediate harm and there was no reason to worry about that… The long-term conversation is going to be about how we deal with it. And, get rid of unconscious bias,” Mike said.

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