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Psychologist advises listening to your children’s needs, concerns after Chauvin verdict

Updated: Apr. 21, 2021 at 8:54 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Derek Chauvin’s murder conviction may spark tough questions, especially from children.

WMC Action News 5 got advice from a psychologist about how to help to find answers for your kids.

“Children see a lot of the things that their parents talk about, things that their peers in school are talking about, their teachers and so it’s very normal for them to have questions,” said Stacie Hopkins, program director for Lakeside Behavioral Health. 

She says parents and guardians must first keep in mind a child’s age when discussing hard to explain topics, like the Chauvin verdict.

“Think about the age group that you’re dealing with,” said Hopkins. “If you’re dealing with small kids, you want to focus on that love for everyone, that equality message. When we’re talking to older kids, you want to talk about what they’re seeing, what they’re talking about with their friends and their peers. Make sure they’re getting correct information and your sitting down, you’re having honest conversations with them.”

When the verdict was imminent Tuesday, Shelby County Schools sent a district update with tips for teachers on what to do and say to students and resources for cultural responsiveness and racial healing.

In that document, the district advises educators to “Emphasize with each child that we see them, hear them, value them, and love them.”

“Listen to what they have to say,” said Hopkins. “Be able to be that active listening open ear for them. And then if they have questions be able to be there and it’s ok. And it’s ok to say that you don’t know. Even as adults there’s a lot of things that we’re still trying to figure out.”

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