As I was preparing dinner last night I learned about what was happening in Paris. It’s a city close to my heart for many reasons; I lived there, I’m part French, it’s a culture that’s deep within me. I tuned into the news on my iPad and was watching with great concern at what was unfolding. My son could sense my deep sadness and concern. He started asking questions that I didn’t know how to answer. I’ve always tried my best to be truthful with my kids and not sugar coat hard truths, but this one was different.

At 3.5 years old he’s obviously too young to be given many, if not all of the details, but I did tell him that something bad was happening in Paris. He asked if there were bad guys, and I said yes. Then he asked if the police were going to kill the bad guys. This stopped me in my tracks.


The word is ugly and my little boy saying it makes me recoil and wonder at the innocence of his words not being far from the truth. I didn’t know what to say. I mumbled something and changed the topic.

How do you explain the sadness and devastation that continual terrorist acts keep having on our world and on humanity? How do you let children know that terrorism exists? How do you explain that not everyone is good? That bad things happen to good people? As my kids get older I will unfortunately encounter this same conversation again and again. I’ll need to get better at making it age appropriate and not too depressing. For now, perhaps the message needs to be about love and peace.


Banksy #prayforpeace

How do you talk to your kids about terrorism? Are they old enough to understand what is happening in Paris, and in our world?