One East Texas mother is using the tragedy in Charlottesville as a way to teach her children about hate crimes.

Kristi Franks is a mother of three, all under the age of 10. She said any chance she gets to talk with her kids about tough subjects, like racism and equality, she takes them.

After the tragedy in Charlottesville, she said it was her 8-year-old, Caz, who started the discussion.

"We try not to shelter them too much, and put it into their terms," Franks said. "We don't have to speak graphically, but I want them to be aware of what's going on, and then how to apply that. I think it forms them into more young and aware adults."

Dr. Wilson Renfroe said the best thing to do is answer questions as they come up.

"I don't think I would sit them down and have a course on racism," he said. "The bottom line is everybody has a right in this country to have an opinion."

He said when a group turns to violence, or starts to bully another group, that's when there's a problem.

For parents that are struggling to find the right words, Franks said don't be shy. Put the conversation in their terms, and think about how they might explain the situation.

"Then I always relate that to how it makes me feel, maybe how daddy feels, and I ask them how it makes them feel."

After talking it out, Franks said she gives some kind of closure at the end so there's always a lesson to be learned.