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Watch: a French father and son’s touching conversation about the Paris attacks

Zack Beauchamp is a senior correspondent at Vox, where he covers ideology and challenges to democracy, both at home and abroad. Before coming to Vox in 2014, he edited TP Ideas, a section of Think Progress devoted to the ideas shaping our political world.

Over the weekend, as mourners gathered somewhere in Paris to remember the victims of Friday's terror attacks, a camera crew with the French TV show Le Petit Journal filmed a conversation between a French boy and his father. The father and son talk through the boy's fear of the attacks. The result is touching, and a master class in how to talk about terrorist attacks to kids — and perhaps in how all of us could stand to think about terrorism and fear:

After the attacks, the boy is understandably terrified, convinced his family has to move out of Paris to be safe.

Son: We have to be really careful because we have to change houses.

Father: Oh no, don't worry — we don't need to move out. Paris is our home.

Son: But there's bad guys, daddy.

Father: Yes, but there's bad guys everywhere.

When the boy responds by saying, "They have guns," the father responds beautifully — "They might have guns, but we have flowers":

Father: Everyone is putting flowers. It's to fight against guns.

Son: It's to protect?

Father: Exactly.

Son: And the candles too?

Father: It's to remember the people who are gone yesterday.

Son: The flowers and the candles are here to protect us.

Father: Yes.

Le Petit Journal's interviewer asks the boy whether he feels better now. His answer is very simple: "Yes."