Despite their proliferation, there's no easy way to discuss protests with children.
During these unprecedented times of constant changes and challenges that face our children, it is vital to provide them as much clarity, security and awareness as possible. Current challenges surrounding social justice and prejudice present key learning moments that will shape their views for a lifetime.
SurrogateFirst spoke to Joey Guzman-Kuffel, Marriage & Family Therapist, for his top three tips on how to have a meaningful and structured discussion on how to discuss protests with children. These topics need to be addressed with empathy, clarity and a positivity that leave them feeling secure and prepared for the future.
Tip 1. Start by asking your children probing questions.
As parents we shouldn't assume what our child already knows and feels.
We need to start by listening and gauging their understanding first, and then responding accordingly.
Here are a few probing questions to get started:
- Did you notice there is a lot going on right now?
- What do you know? Do you know why it's happening?
- Where did you hear this from?
- How does it make you feel?
- What do you think people should do?
Tip 2. Keep your message simple & concise.
Issues such as prejudice and racism are complex, but when speaking with children, it's best to keep your answers as brief and easy-to-understand.
Therefore, it is very important to be fully prepared to answer the best way it fits your family.
Here are a few things to consider in framing your response:
- Be transparent and keep it simple
- Reflect on our own inherited prejudices: how we were raised, where we grew up and the opinions around us
- Consider the cultural differences in your family and local community
- What do you and your family believe? What are your core values you want to ingrain into your children?
Tip 3. Have the "goal" in mind.
Provide security in a time of uncertainty.
To eliminate the fear of the unknown, provide them with the tools to be prepared, to understand, and to deal with issues in the future.
Every family will have their own goals - here are a few to consider:
- Provide clarification and security to our your child
- Conquer the "fear of the unknown" - the more you know the safer you are
- Understand key concepts of social justice, prejudice and racism
- Provide awareness on how to manage uncertainty so it is not foreign and be prepared for the future
SurrogateFirst hopes that your families are safe and secure during these times of uncertainty and change. If you have questions and would like to learn more please contact Joey at jgkuffel.MFT@outlook.com.
Joey Guzman-Kuffel, M.A., LMFT
Counseling with Joey
4565 Ruffner Street, Ste. 110
San Diego, CA 92111
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist LIC. #LMFT116756