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Bright Futures

Articles and Updates from Phoenix Children's

June 15, 2020
How Do I Talk to My Child About the Current Protests?

A lot of parents are wondering how to talk about the current protests with their kids. We recommend starting by asking questions to see what your child already knows. For example, you might ask: “There have been protests happening across the country, and even in other parts of the world. What have you heard about the protests? What have you seen about the protests? What do you think about that? How are you feeling?”

Kids share more when they know you’re paying attention. You can nod and say “uh huh” or ask questions to encourage them to keep talking. You can also repeat back what they say to make sure you’re understanding them. If your child uses social media as a source of information, ask them if there are any posts, images or videos they have seen that they want to talk about with you. It may be helpful to sit with them and look at the sources together.

It’s possible your child has felt fear, anger or sadness about what they are seeing. As a parent, you can help them process those emotions. Let them know it’s okay to feel however they are feeling. Remind them you are there to help keep them safe and that many people are working hard to fight injustice and make the world more fair.

It’s okay for you, as a parent, to not know certain information, to have your own questions, to not have all the answers or to be confused. Talking about racial injustice can be difficult. It is okay to return later and try to have this conversation with your child again. In fact, it is a conversation to have many times.


To help guide and support these discussions, Sesame Street convened “Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism. A CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall for Kids and Families.” You can watch the recording here.

In addition to talking with your kids, you can read books together to help continue the conversation. Here are some links to book lists for kids of different ages:


Jenna Rudo-Stern, PhD

Pediatric Psychology Fellow, Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s
Arizona Psychology Training Consortium Resident

Dr. Jenna Rudo-Stern completed her doctorate in clinical psychology at Arizona State University. Following a pre-doctoral internship in child and adolescent psychology at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland, she returned to Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s, where she is completing a post-doctoral residency in pediatric psychology through the Arizona Psychology Training Consortium. Her research focuses on issues related to expanding access to high quality mental and physical health care for all.  As a new mother, she looks forward to many future meaningful conversations with her child.


Veronica Coriano, PhD
AZ Certified School Psychologist
Arizona Psychology Training Consortium Resident

Dr. Veronica L. Coriano completed her doctoral studies at Tulane University in New Orleans and is a Chicago native. She is currently employed as a school psychologist and is completing her postdoctoral residency through the Arizona Psychology Training Consortium. Her research has largely focused on promoting positive social, emotional, behavioral, and academic outcomes for children of color. As a proud mother of a 3-year old son, she hopes to contribute to creating spaces where all children can thrive.

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