The viral video about what to say to kids when something very bad happens in the world.

It’s been a week since the shooting massacre in Christchurch, but its aftermath is still being felt all over the world – including in average Australian homes.

Many of us know that footage of the incident was posted all over the internet and was viewed millions of times before it was taken down. Facebook alone removed 1.5 million videos. Accordingly, millions of children inadvertently have watched the shooting – meaning that there’s many parents wondering how to explain such violence and death to their kids.

Australian comedian Sammy J this week found that he too had to offer some guidance to a young viewer who wrote to him about tragedy. Sammy J chose to respond to her on his YouTube show, Sammy J’s Playground Politics.

“This letter is from a little girl called Jessie,” he starts, reading aloud from the note. “This week, I saw a lot of people crying on the news, and then my mummy turned the TV off. Now I’m scared. What happened?”

The comedian decides to tell the little girl, Jessie, the truth.

“I could tell you that nothing happened, and everything’s fine, but that wouldn’t be the truth,” he says. “The truth is, a very bad person did a very bad thing, and a lot of very good people died. And that was scary.”

He explains that Jessie’s mum was most likely worried she would get scared, so she turned off the television. In answer to her question about what happened, he gives the following explanation:

“Why do grown ups do scary things? I’m a grown up, and I have no idea.

“But I think sometimes, it’s because they’re scared. Scared of people who look different, or speak differently, or go to a place a different place to pray.

“And sometimes they get so scared, they get angry. And then they blame the people they’re scared of for making them feel scared in the first place.”


Then Sammy J offers a helpful analogy: “It’s a bit like being scared of the dark. It’s only scary because you don’t know what’s there.”

Finally, his advice about where to go from there is very helpful.

“You just have to be brave, and reach out, and turn on the light. Because then you see there was nothing to be scared of in the first place.

“Some people never turn the lights on. They actually prefer being scared.  And sometimes people get so scared, they turn into real monsters.

“And real monsters do horrible things.”

At the end of the video, Sammy J offers some hope to all children.

“Here’s the good news – you can choose to be brave instead” of being scared, he says.

“We know we can always turn the lights on. And when the lights are on, those monsters have nowhere to hide.”

The comedian posted the video on his Facebook page, and was applauded for his approach in the comments section.

“It was so perfect it hurt,” one person wrote.

“It was very well done – my daughters and I watched it together – they said it was the nicest way of explaining what had happened they are 10 and 14,” said one mother.

Another mum also expressed her gratitude: “Thank you from a mother whose child is old enough to not be hidden from the events of this world, but still far too young to have to deal with its atrocities.”

What do you think of Sammy J’s video? Tell us in the comments below.