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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- U of L Health psychiatric and metal health nurse practitioner Aly Inclan spoke with WDRB about how to discuss the recent protests with children.

Inclan says talking about the protests and riots says with your kids is appropriate. An important thing to keep in mind when talking to kids about protests and riots is keeping the discussion age appropriate. She says older children are likely hearing more details than younger ones, and honesty is key when talking to kids.

"With younger kids, you just want to honest and simple and put words to it that they'll understand," Inclan said.

It is also important to reassure children and answer questions they may have with the same honesty and simplicity to help relieve anxiety. Inclan says to use this opportunity as a teachable moment about current events and racism.

"Putting language to that enables your child to bring it up again later when they recognize it or if they have questions because they've been taught about it and so they'll know how to address it in the future," Inclan says.

How to approach discussions about racism and hate can vary depending on a child's age. She provided tips for approaching that discussion with both younger and older children.

"For a younger child, you may just explain, you know, some people don't like other people because of the color their skin or because they're different from them and this is why we think that's not okay." Inclan continues, "For older kids you can go more in depth, but you know, a lot of kids have already been exposed to some sort discrimination whether it's themselves or their friends and so, again, putting language to that helps them identify it again in the future."

Inclan also points out that kids learn different values based upon what they are taught.

"Hate is learned, racism is learned. All of those values are learned whether its explicitly through language or implicitly through your behavior," she says. "So why not address it verbally so that they're aware of it and they can bring it up again in the future when they have questions."

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