Chauvin verdict: How to have 'difficult conversations' with your kids
MILWAUKEE - The guilty verdict of Derek Chauvin in the murder of George Floyd has been a topic of conversation across the country, and your kids might have questions.
Chauvin's conviction has led to a range of emotions in people of all ages.
"You might feel grief, anger, anxiety and fear as adults, and your children might be feeling those things, so it’s important at the end of the day to hold them close," said Reena Patel, child psychologist and parenting specialist. "Be ready to have some difficult conversations."
The jury found former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all counts in the death of George Floyd.
Pediatricians say kids as young as 10 will most likely be exposed to the news of verdict if they haven't already, which is why it's important to talk about it.
"Knowing that kids are probably going to be hearing about this is another reason parents should talk about it at home because that way they can have a little bit more role in the conversation," said Laura Houser, pediatrician.
It's OK to not have all the answers. Health experts recommend parents let kids lead the conversation.
"Ask your child first, 'What it is that you understand?'" said Patel. "'What did you hear? What do you know?' And that gives you a better understanding of where to gauge, a sense to where to start your dialogue."
Talking about the case isn't a solution for all kids, as some might still feel overwhelmed. Signs of distress parents can look for include lack of sleep and less desire to participate in everyday activities. That's when additional resources might be helpful.
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"Children just want to be heard," said Patel. "They want to be validated. They want to feel safe. You have to understand that, specific to this case, it was a police officer that ended up going to jail."
To balance out the tough topics, doctors recommend a fun activity like playing outside.