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Importance of discussing national issues

Published: Jan. 7, 2021 at 5:39 PM PST
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - January 6, 2021: a date many Americans will remember for the rest of their lives.

“We get a txt (message) saying people are breaking into the Capitol and I’m like ‘oh my gosh, this has never happened before,’” said Riley Aland, a 15-year-old student.

His mother, Lisa, was also shocked.

“I saw some of the footage and I myself got a little choked up and started crying.”

While chaos ensued in Washington, D.C., the Alands tried to find ways to discuss what was going on.

“I think that’s the top responsibility as a parent: teaching your children,” Lisa said. “We need to be a part of our children’s lives in a positive way that helps shape and mold them for the future.”

Lisa has four children. Her 18 year old watched the news unfold on TV. Her 15-year-old son, Riley, also wanted to find out what was going on. Lisa stopped helping one of her other children with homework to discuss the magnitude of what the family was seeing and hearing. She had one big takeaway.

“We need to work through emotions and seek reputable sources for helping us get all the information that’s being thrown at us.”

Riley added his thoughts on talking to an adult about important matters.

“Definitely at a younger age it’s better to talk to your parents because as an adult they understand the mindset a little more than us. We just think ‘oh, someone is breaking into that building.’”

It is easy to be passive when something is happening thousands of miles away, but Riley thinks learning and understanding all important life events has value regardless of how old someone is.

“We’re living in history pretty much,” he said. “We can use these when we’re older and remember these things that we lived through and talk about them when we’re older with our kids.”

Listening to what everyone has to say - judgement free, eliminating distractions, and consulting a counselor are also good ways to have productive conversations.

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