Parents search for ways to talk to children about fatal police shooting video of Adam Toledo

Many parents are wondering how to protect their children from seeing the graphic video, and more importantly, how to talk to them about it.

Parents say with cellphones, tablets and social media, it is virtually impossible to shield their children from seeing the video of a Chicago police officer shooting and killing 13-year-old Adam Toledo.

Child mental health experts say there is a reason to be worried.

"It’s scary. We can imagine that young children that are seeing this video or hearing about it are seeing the world as a scary place today," said Sara Anderson from Erikson Institute.

Anderson says the key is communication.


Ask your children if they’ve seen or heard of the video and encourage them to talk about it.

"It’s important parents say something and open up the space to allow children to share their feelings, to ask their questions and to share their worries, and then parents can respond to that," said Anderson.

Anderson says very young children may simply need to know that it’s OK to be sad and confused about what happened. But for older children, it’s important that you help them develop a narrative.

FOX 32’s Dane Placko asked Anderson, "What is the most important thing a parent should say to their child?"

Anderson replied, "That they are here for them. That they are here to keep them safe, and keep them protected and to care for them."