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Explaining Charlottesville to your children

Social worker: "It's important to acknowledge..."

Explaining Charlottesville to your...

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The recent disturbing events in Charlottesville, Virginia, are being displayed on every news outlet in the United States for everyone including children to see. 

Three people were killed and dozens more were injured on Saturday in connection to a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville. 

Public school in Santa Barbara doesn't resume until next week, but some parents are worried about what their kids may see or hear when they're not home. However, children could also see violent or disturbing images in their own homes.

"While limiting exposure to some degree, it's also important to acknowledge," said Deborah Holmes, chief program officer at Child Abuse Listening Mediation. 

Every child is different and so are the ways the understand situations. Holmes suggests talking to children and understanding how they might feel about what's being portrayed on television. Some parents might get flustered and flip the channel when something horrific appears on screen. That is something experts say you might not want to do, depending on how old your child is.

“Sometimes if a parent is very reactive like that, the child may become more scared or more agitated and also get the message that this is off limits," said Holmes. 

Parents also have their own parenting style. Some parents will turn off their TV's to shelter their children, while others will give them the truth in a more G-rated version. 

"We're not trying to violate their conscience at a young age. We want to awaken their conscience so they understand that all of us make decisions everyday that affect a whole bunch of people, besides just me," said Kevin McCullough, a father of two sons. 

If you're looking for tips on how to strike up a conversation with your kids about these events, contact your child's school counselor or reach out to CALM.  


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