PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Video of a French father explaining the recent attacks in Paris to his young son is going viral and raising questions about how to address traumatic events with children.
During the interview with a local reporter, the child tells his father, “bad guys are not very nice.”
The child later tells his father they will have to move from France because of the attack, to which the dad responds, “Oh no don’t worry, we don’t need to move out. France is our home.”
The child responds, “but there’s bad guys, Daddy.”
“Yes, but there’s bad guys everywhere,” his father calmly states.
“They have guns. They can shoot us because they’re really, really mean daddy,” the child says.
Philadelphia psychologist Dr. Valerie Braunstein watched the video with Eyewitness News and said the father did a lot of things correctly.
“He turned and faced the child, he looked in his eyes and he was calm and smiled and I think the father could, the child could probably then pick up on that and sense the safety,” Braunstein said. She said while parents should try to limit how much exposure children have to traumatic events, it’s also important to have a conversation about what they know and what they’d like to know.
“Not talking about it doesn’t mean that people aren’t thinking about it,” Braunstein said, “So it’s important to create a dialogue, an age appropriate, developmentally appropriate dialogue.”