In the wake of the events of January 6th, 2021, many of our educators, families, and children will struggle in the coming weeks. As adults search for the right words to discuss the times in which we are living, we hope these resources will be helpful.
Talking about Violence
- The Child Development Institute’s resource, How To Talk To Kids About Tragedies In The Media, offers discussion techniques and advice based on the age and maturity level of the children you are with. Their post about How To Talk To Kids About Violence may also be helpful at this time.
- Mental Health America offers suggestions for Talking To Kids About Fear And Violence in their post, reminding us that “Parents can help children gain a sense of personal control by talking openly about violence and personal safety.”
- The National Association for School Psychologists offers guidance in their document, Talking to Children About Violence: Tips for Parents and Teachers.
- If you are discussing these events with English Language Learners or immigrant students, please read Discussing political violence with ELLs, immigrants, and refugees.
- For younger children, you may want to watch: Elmo and his dad talk about racism and protesting.
Talking about Racism
Dr. Alyssa Hadley-Dunn, Associate Professor of Teacher Education at Michigan State University offers tips and resources in this must-read blog post: Resources for Teachers on the Days after the Attack on the U.S. Capitol. She writes, “There is no one easy answer. Not everything works for every student or every teacher or in every classroom.” Her post also includes important notes for Black teachers, White teachers, and teachers of children of color. She reminds us that these events are not unexpected when considered in context:
…do not be the teachers/people who are “surprised” by what is happening. Do not let your students be the students/people who are surprised by what is happening. Contextualize this within a historical lens of whiteness, white supremacy, settler colonialism.
Additional resources for talking about race and racism:
- Education Week compiled a list of resources for talking about race and racism here.
- This 3-minute video, Helping Your Child Cope with Media Coverage of Community Racial Trauma, is aimed at parents but may be helpful for educators as well.