Local psychologist discusses how parents should explain Paris attacks to children

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been nearly a week since the terror attacks unfolded in Paris. Clinical psychologist, Dr. Josh Klapow, said it it’s difficult time for adults and children alike to make sense of the terror attacks in France.

In a Le Petit Journal video, that has now gone viral, a little boy was captured sorting out the pieces.

The boy’s father stays composed as he listens and talks with his son about the attacks. Klapow says this is a great example of how parents should talk to their children when frightening and heartbreaking news is unfolding.

In part of the video the father says, “Look! Everyone is putting out flowers. It is to fight against guns.”

“It’s to protect,” his son questions. “Exactly.”

“Parents often get caught in the trap of trying to explain why it happened and how it happened. A lot of times the best thing you can do as a parent is asked the child what they think,” said Klapow. “Reassure them that you will protect them, you will reassure them that things like this don’t happen every day.  You can also tell them for all of the horrific things that have happened there are also lots of heroes.”

Towards the end of the video the little boy understands that good is more powerful than evil.

“The flowers and the candles are here to protect us,” he says.

Dr. Klapow said if parents stay calm and composed, it lets children know that they are going to be ok.

Copyright 2015 WIAT 42 News

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