CLEVELAND — Many of you are watching the events in Washington unfold at home, as a family. We’ve seen questions from our viewers and our friends about how to talk to your kids about today’s events.
Dr. Laura Gerak, a pediatric psychologist with Akron Children’s Hospital, spoke to me about how to lead that conversation with your littles.
"You know kids, they are watching you," she said. "They’re watching the look on your face, and the look in your eyes, and that’s what they are watching to say 'Are we okay?' The rest of this is scary, and the rest of this can come at you, but what they are watching you to say, is 'Is my world still all right?'
"Once you’ve validated, 'Yes, this is unusual and this is big…so let’s talk about it. What are you seeing? What are you hearing?'" she explained. "You maybe ask questions…'What are you thinking when you see this?'"
Gerak admitted these conversations can be hard, but they can go a long way towards helping children cope with difficult topics. The key is to be proactive.
"A lot of it is not just what you say, but starting to pull for dialogue right away," she said. "Because especially with younger kids…our mistake sometimes is we make assumptions about what we want to hear, or we make assumptions about what they need to know, or we should tell them, and we can we way off base."
Watch the entire interview with Garek in the player below: