Huffpost Parents
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Dr. G  Headshot

Toulouse Shooting: Answering My Children's Questions When I Barely Have the Words

Posted: Updated:
Print
AP
AP

Here is the truth: A man opened fire at a bus stop for a Jewish school in France, and then went inside the school to keep killing.

I am a mom who answers questions with the truth. "Where do babies come from?" "Where will the people live who lost their houses?" "Why can't we afford that?" "Where is my grandpa now that he's dead?" "Why is there war?" "What were you doing in your bedroom and what was that sound?"

I am a doctor who presumes to offer help to parents who want to be ready to talk to their kids about tough topics.

There is no topic that is completely off-limits in my opinion. I don't give full disclosure to each child on each subject, of course. Answers need to incorporate the personality and developmental stage of the child. Some "Well how old were you when you..." questions are not any of my kids' business. But every issue is up for conversation in our world, that is our ethos.

So how can I talk to my boys about something for which I have no answers? No words?

First, let me say that I do know that innocent children die in every conflict in the world. It's only haters and politicians, though, who can use that as an excuse or reason for murder. Murder should bring disgust, murder of children should turn our guts inside out in every single instance. Please don't scream at me about Zionist aggression. Only cowards would.

Tonight at our dinner table, our sons will ask, "Why were those children shot?" "Who would kill them like that, holding their Dad's hand? On their way to school?"

Tonight my boys will learn that there are questions to which there are no answers. And, tonight my children will learn what I learned at about their age when 3rd graders on a playground in Ohio threw rocks at me and called me a kike. My boys will learn that they, too, are at risk standing at a school bus stop waiting to go to their Jewish day school. Just because they are what they are, with no regard for who they are. This problem is by no means unique to Jews. At least our differences are sometimes invisible.

We will focus on what we can do. We will write to the families at that school. We will send love, and money (because sadly, money is always needed after tragedy), and we will pray. We will pray for the safety of every child at every bus stop, and in every home around the world. Will you join us?