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How you and your family can cope with Wednesday's Capitol Chaos

Capitol Breach
Posted at 8:19 AM, Jan 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-11 12:28:31-05

COLORADO SPRINGS — Many people are still feeling stressed and anxious after rioters stormed the U.S. capitol.

Five people died as a result of the violence, including a U.S. capitol police officer. Many people, including viewers, have posted on social media with feelings of stress and anxiety.

In an interview with Newsy, Dr. Lynn Bufka, with the American Psychological Association, has some suggestions for ways to cope.

"First of all, stop watching. We probably have all of the information we need from the videos and photos that we've seen so far," Bufkin explained. "If you need to learn more I would suggest reading about it so that you can control how much news you're taking in."

If you're children have tough questions for you on Wednesday's riots, there are strategies parents can use to help them understand what happened.

For the youngest kids, Diane Jones Lowrey, with Common Sense Media, recommends limiting or eliminating exposure to the media, but recognizes that's not always possible. She says children 8 to 12 understand what's going on but may not comprehend specific details.

"Ask them, what are you feeling, what did you see, and what did you hear? And hear it through their eyes and through their voice," Lowrey explained. "The older they get, the more critical you need to be about the media they consume."

Lowrey says teenagers are likely getting most of their information online and from social media. Lowrey suggests giving them the space to express how they feel without judgment, and ask questions to help them think critically.

Lastly, always look for teachable moments – from our democratic process to the suspension of President Trump's social media accounts.

Dr. Bufkin says distractions can be very healthy, and encourages families to think about the things that bring them joy, like playing with a pet or working a jigsaw puzzle.