How to Respond to Tragic Events with Compassionate Parenting

Nov 20, 2015 2:10 PM ET

This post is by Kathy Saulitis, senior vice president of external affairs at generationOn, Points of Light’s youth service division.

As parents, teachers and caring adults try to calm the fears of children and bring them comfort after the recent events in Paris and around the world, a particularly moving video of a dad explaining the attacks in Paris to his young son has flooded the Internet.

French news outlet Le Petit Journal interviewed the unnamed child and asked if he understood what happened in his city and why the shootings happened.

"Yes, because they're really, really mean," the boy says. He then goes on to say, "But there's bad guys, Daddy... they have guns, they can shoot us because they're really, really mean."

The dad remains reassuring and focused on the positive, which are both important in compassionate parenting. 

 He says, "They might have guns, but we have flowers."

"But flowers don't do anything," the boy responds.

"Of course they do," the father replies. "Look, everyone is putting flowers. It's to fight against the guns." (Watch the video here.)

It is not unusual for kids to feel scared and helpless after tragic incidents such as the recent events in Paris, Beirut and other parts of the world. Visit generationOn’s resources page to access a range of articles that offer advice for how parents, teachers and other caring adults can help youth process their thoughts and feelings during these times.

Read the rest of this post on the Points of Light blog.