Parents, educators grapple with how to talk to kids about US Capitol riot
On top of what has already been an overwhelming past year for people worldwide, the confusion and panic in Washington, D.C. could be even harder to take for kids.
High school senior Luis Gaskin, like most of the country, is left with a lot of questions and emotions Thursday.
"My first reaction was ... this is bananas, how can this even happen?" says Gaskin.
So how should adults begin speaking with kids and young adults about what happened? Dr. Victor Fornari, director of child and adolescent psychiatry at Zucker Hillside Hospital, has some thoughts.
"I think the best approach is to take their questions," says Fornari. "Answer them as honestly as we can without judgment, without passion. The most important thing to remember is to remain calm, optimistic."
Fornari also says that when you're speaking to younger children about the event, it's best to leave the politics out of it.
Teacher Alex Breyer showed clips of Wednesday's news coverage to his AP History class at Roosevelt High School, asking them how the scene made them feel. Nathalia Joya was part of that discussion, and says she's filled with emotions, not the least of which is fear.
"As a Hispanic, I am part of the minority," says Joya. "If I were to go to that riot, I would have been shot and killed."
Roosevelt High School principal Broderick Spencer echoed Fornari's advice when issuing a message to his students:
"In this day we have to learn how to be united and that's critical," he says.
"What we have to tell our kids of all ages is that we're all going to get through this together," says Fornari.