Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Dear Mrs. Bluth,

I am so upset and in a terrible bind as to how to handle my situation. Times are so hard now and I see the terrible changes in my children. The older ones want to show they are handling it well and I have been able to shield the younger ones from all the horrible and painful news coming from Eretz Yisrael. I have been successful doing so until last Shabbos when my eleven-year-old daughter had a sleep-over at a school mates home. She was a bubbly, sweet natured happy child when she left on Friday, but when my husband picked her up motzoei Shabbos, she was a total wreck, crying and terrified to be alone for even a moment.


We comforted her as best we could, calming her down so she could speak to us and tell us what happened, thinking the worst kinds of thoughts about the people we sent her to and what she told us completely blew my mind. It seems that she was shown pictures of the horrible, decimated bodies from the terror onslaught from the oldest sister of the friend she was staying by from the girl’s cell phone as she was scanning sites like TikTok and the like. As if this wasn’t enough, the topic of conversation at their Shabbos table was further expounding on the horror, with the grandmother chiming in about her Holocaust experiences in the concentration camps!

My child is afraid to leave home, go to school or even go outside without one of us being with her. I can’t understand how these people can be so horrible as to talk about the ‘situation’ in front of young, impressionable children!


Dear Friend,

I was appalled to read your letter and deeply feel your pain and concern for your child. The host family that had your daughter for Shabbos were extremely irresponsible and uncaring to expose your young daughter to conversations they share and situations they seem normal and comfortable discussing amongst themselves. That their older children have access to Internet site like TikTok and Facebook is an added problem. They completely overstepped better judgment and sadly, your child is now paying the price. However, there may be hope for your child if she receives alternate messaging from you .

To be too protective of your child makes her/him more vulnerable to anything and everything outside your control. By avoiding uncomfortable or upsetting subjects, you make them incapable to protect themselves from the moment they leave your side and result in traumas and fears such as your daughter experienced. Parents need to openly discuss events in an age appropriate way so outside influences will not cause reactions such as was experienced by your child. Hopefully with your input, belated as it is, and possibly with the help of a child therapist should your efforts not be enough, your little girl will immerge whole, healthy and much wiser in understanding.


Note To Parents, Teachers, and Mentors: Please keep a sharp eye out for children who have not able personality changes in the past week.


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