What we did (and didn't say) to our 6 year-old about "yesterday"
Today was a hard day for a lot of people, and it was hard to watch. I know that our kids heard me and my husband talking about it, and I know they heard the news. So, we turned it off for a bit. For all of us. We all needed a break.
It's important that our oldest at least, has understanding of world events. So here's how we approached it:
Decided what we did and didn't want to say
We decided what our oldest kid needed to know, and what she didn't need to know. We decided that she did need to know that:
- Sometimes people don't agree with big decisions that are made
- Protesting things you don't agree with is important, which is why we've taken them protests together
- What happened yesterday wasn't a protest, and it wasn't ok, and those people will learn that
- REAL leaders bring people together and that's what will happen next
- People died
- The police didn't act as they should have
- People are (hopefully) going to jail for what happened
Explained as much as we could
We asked if she had any questions. She asked why people were mad. We said because they think someone else should be in charge. She asked why that person wasn't in charge. We said, because that's not the person that everyone voted for. And I reminded her about when we went to vote. She remembered that and understood it.
Reassured her she was safe
She didn't mention that she didn't feel safe. She seemed more curious. But, it's far away and although she knows my brother lives in the US, she didn't connect that. We left it there. But, I was ready to tell her that we were safe here. I am personally worried for others safety as this continues, but I wouldn't have mentioned that to her.
Listened to her questions
I talk too much. I know it. And my kid tells me I talk to much. I'm working on it. And I was really conscious about not talking about this too much and over-explaining it. Overall the objective was for her to understand the context around conversations she might hear over the next few weeks. That means her getting the information she needs the way she understands it. I purposely left silence so she could think about it all. TOTALLY glad she didn't ask about that Jamiroquai/Bad Guy from Temple of Doom. I mean, how would I have answered that?!?
And that was it! I hope you're all feeling ok today, and I'm sure your mind is as blown as mine is. But, it's hard to say it wasn't coming when you see things that have been said, and social media screen grabs. It's hard to understand the world right now...and makes me sad...but if we're all going to get through this...it's going to be by MEMES ONLY!