(NEW YORK) — As jurors deliberate whether to convict former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin for the death of George Floyd, many may be struggling to manage their anxiety and expectations of the outcome.
Psychiatrist Dr. Janet Taylor appeared Tuesday on Good Morning America to talk about how to navigate these emotions and talk to your kids.
“The anxiety’s real and the fact [is] our brain doesn’t like uncertainty but we know a verdict is coming and we have an opportunity to respond in a way where we stay kind and we stay involved no matter what the verdict is,” Taylor told GMA‘s Robin Roberts.
For young people, it’s likely they’ve been hearing about the Chauvin trial from loved ones or reading articles online.
Taylor provided tips on how to talk to kids.
Taylor said since kids may be well aware of the situation, talk about the country’s past and present history of race and race relations.
Explain police’s duty is to serve and protect
Taylor said to do your homework and remember that we don’t want our children to be afraid of the police.
“Police are there to help us. Most police are good. Help our kids understand what they can do to stay safe and how we as parents and caregivers protect them,” Taylor said.
Discuss ways to make things better
For adults too, this can mean getting involved and advocate for laws you believe in. Focusing on what you can control.
Taylor said that voting can help us cope as well.
“And register to vote because that enables a sense of participation and self-advocacy,” Taylor said.
As we handle the verdict and move forward as a country, Taylor suggested remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, whose presence was “Who are we as people and what do we represent? How do we want to be?” she said.
“This is a time when we can certainly work through this disruption and through disruption can come calm, can come hope and can come peace but we need to work through it with a sense that things will be better, knowing that we can be better as humans,” Taylor added. “And this is about humanity, and making the changes that we need to.”
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