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Expert advice | How to speak with your kids about the Jan. 6 insurrection

11Alive spoke to Dr. Suvrat Bhargave on how to approach Jan.6 and discuss it with children.

ATLANTA — It's been one year since the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection and it might seem like an intimidating topic to introduce to kids.  Dr. Suvrat Bhargave, a psychiatrist who focuses on children, said there’s a way to talk about Jan. 6 with them proactively. 

It’s really important for parents to get kids to open up and to talk about things because we don't know where, even if they might have heard information, how they might be interpreting it, '' said Dr. Bhargave.

He added that the most important thing parents can do when discussing difficult topics is make sure they have an open dialogue with their children. 

“Be prepared to listen, I think sometimes when we want to have discussions with kids, we're ready to chime in and start talking,” said Dr.Bhargave. It's more important when you're creating a safe space to be ready to listen.

Once you opened up the room for discussion, Dr. Bhargave advises parents to meet their children where they are at, meaning having age-appropriate discussions and asking questions. 

“When kids hear discussions about crises or traumatic events, the first thing that most kids will start to question is safety, he said.

To help combat this, Dr. Bhargave advises adults and parents to reassure their children about their safety

“Safety might be hugging them in the middle of a conversation. Reassuring them of safety might mean reminding them that the actions of a few people do not speak to the many. So again, putting the event in some context helps, he said. 

"Kids are like sponges, they are very emotional sponges, so they will pick up on other people's feelings and it'll feel like their feelings," said Dr. Bhargave.

Dr. Bhargave advises that parents understand their own feelings about what happened a year ago. 

"So before you can help your children sort through their feelings, you have to check in on your feelings. That means trying to process it for yourself, labeling your own emotions," he said.

This isn't something that you have to address alone. 

"If you start to notice that your child is having a hard time, please reach for help from a professional, said  Dr. Bhargave.