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Tough conversations: tips on talking to your kids about political unrest

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DULUTH, MN-- The last few weeks in our county have been chaotic, and some parents may be struggling with how to best talk to their children about these challenging moments in history.

Joel Heller said talking about complex and sometimes scary situations can be easy, but other times it can be challenging.

Wednesday's U.S Capitol attack made Heller think of his 14-year-old son and how to reassure him in a scary time.

"All I could think about was how can I explain to Noah what is happening," said Heller.

A former teacher and political expert, Sharon McMahon, said being open and honest with your children is a great place to start.

"Kids are more resilient than we think," said McMahon. "They can handle the truth."

She said kids are also able to understand complex situations.

"As soon as you start saying 'I don't wanna talk about it' now children are going to have to go elsewhere for information, and you don't necessarily know where they are going to go for information," said McMahon.

Heller believes honesty and reassurance are most important when talking to his son, while also teaching him how to learn from the situation.

"If we can show a little more love in this world, I think that is what I am trying to do as a dad," said Heller.

McMahon also said parents shouldn't be afraid to have more in-depth conversations with their kids about current events, as long as the conversations are age-appropriate.

Natalie Grant

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