Friday, January 8, 2021

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Emotions are running high after Wednesday’s riots at the U.S. Capitol, especially considering the anxiety that came with 2020.

Riots, panic, chaos at the Capitol — just a week into the new year, these are the destructive words and images already dominating our minds.

“I think partly, also, it’s the beginning of the year and people were very hopeful that things would start off on a better and good foot, and so now they feel a little bit defeated,” psychologist Dr. Robin Goodman said.

Goodman helps children and families cope in times of crisis.

“It’s important to stay connected to people, so you’re not isolating yourself,” she said.

CAPITOL CHAOS: Child Psychologists Encourage Open Conversations With Children As They Try To Make Sense Of Events

She says adults have to acknowledge how they feel first.

“Sad, you can feel overwhelmed, and you can feel out of control or hopeless,” she said.

Then, they can try to help their kids.

“Hard, hard teachable moments, but they’re useful moments,” Goodman said.

“What this moment highlights is that words matter,” said Alicia Guevara, CEO of Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City.

Guevara says it’s crucial to include kids in the conversation.

“To not feel as though we need to have the answers. Most of us don’t,” she said.

“What do we ask them?” CBS2’s Jessica Layton asked.

“How did they feel when they saw what they saw on TV? What do they think we should be doing?” Guevara said.

CAPITOL CHAOS: Local Members Of Congress Recount ‘Disturbing’ Scene, World Leaders Denounce The Violence

Psychologists say in every stressful, or even tragic, situation, we should look to the bright spots, the helpers, to give us hope.

Like Congressman Andy Kim, of New Jersey, who got down on his knees to help clean the mess left by the mob.

Or Colorado Congressman Jason Crow, who, while hiding in the House Chamber, comforted a colleague.

“I did what I think any friend would want to do and I just let her know I was there for her and that we would get through it,” Crow said.

We can give credit to Congress for getting back to work just hours after the Capitol crisis.

“We’ve never been deterred before, and we’ll be not deterred today,” Sen. Mitch McConnell said.

A thought we may all want to keep close right now.

Jessica Layton contributed to this report.

Psychologist Encourages Staying Connected, Looking For Bright Spots As 2021 Gets Off To A Stressful Start