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Doctor explains how to help kids cope with mental and emotional trauma during Derek Chauvin trial

Last year, George Floyd's death sparked global protests. As the trial starts, experts say it may spark new trauma.

MINNEAPOLIS — As news of the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin gains worldwide attention, many families may be wondering about the emotional and mental impact this may have on kids – particularly those in communities of color.

"We all lived through that awful June in 2020, with the murder of George Floyd and the aftermath,” says author and child psychologist, Dr. Abigail Gewirtz. “Many families with kids of different ages, have already talked about it."

Gewirtz is an expert on families dealing with stress. She says it's important for parents to find time to continue having conversations with their kids about what they may be seeing on television or reading on social media. “Parents have their kids best interest and can help,” she says. “We often don’t think about things that affect us emotionally, and the fact that it may be affecting our child as well."

Last year, George Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests, with young people and teens leading the movements for justice across the country. As the trial starts, experts say it may spark new trauma. “They may have a hard time sleeping or don't want to go to school, and when your child is doing this day after day, and the worry and upset, and it lasts more than month, that's time to look for help,” she says.

While Gewirtz says parents should help their kids create a healthy way to stay informed, it's also important to find a healthy balance.

“It’s a balance between not shoving your own agenda in your child, but wanting to be responsive and not wanting to put our heads in the sand and thinking everything is OK,” she says.

To learn more about Dr. Gewirtz, visit her website here.

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