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How do we talk to our children following Chauvin verdict?

A pediatric neuropsychologist says children might have questions about the case and parents should engage in conversation.

A conversation. A question: How do we move forward?

After the verdict of Derek Chauvin, how do we talk to each other? How do we talk to our children about important issues like social injustice, racism and fairness?

“Just keep checking in with your kids and let them know it’s OK to talk about these things with you,” Dr. Jacquelyn Doxie King said.

Doxie King is the pediatric neuropsychologist with Nationwide Children’s Hospital. She says it’s important for parents to follow the lead of their children and bring the conversation down to their level. She encourages parents to ask what they know and wait for them to ask follow-up questions, should they have them.

“A lot of times with kids they really understand fairness,” she said.

Before any conversation, Doxie King says parents need to acknowledge their own biases, fears and stress about a topic.

“It may keep you from putting maybe too much of the emotion into it where you’re afraid that might make your child more anxious or afraid or say something that maybe you don’t mean,” she said.

Doxie King says you never know what children are thinking or what they’ve learned from other sources. Bottom line, she says it does more harm than good by not talking about important issues, should they have questions.

“I don’t think parents should ever be afraid to talk about these things and address it,” she said.

Doxie King also says it’s OK for parents to admit they might not know a certain answer to a question that might come up, saying it teaches children to want to learn more.

Concerning children’s mental health, Doxie King encourages parents to log onto On Our Sleeves for more information and resources.

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