5 Tips for Explaining the Concept of Death to Children

By: Tom Gallagher
Friday, September 16, 2016

When it comes time to sit down and have the conversation about death with a child, the mood tends to be very sensitive and a discussion that can be uncomfortable. As adults and parents, we try to protect our children from fear and sadness, although, death is a part of life that they will experience as they grow older. Having a conversation with your child about the concept of death will make the grieving process easier for not only you but them as individuals.

Here are five important tips you can use that will help you through this talk.

 

Consider Age:

Different age groups take information in and process it differently. Consider how old your child is and put the concept into perspective that they can grasp and begin to understand. If your child seems to pick up quickly on what you are explaining then you can move forward with more complex explanations, but start slowly to avoid overwhelming them.

 

Use Child-Friendly Explanations:

Children tend to put examples and stories into literal sense. They believe exactly what you are telling them is to be true. For example, if you tell a child that their loved one is resting or has gone to sleep for a long time, they may believe that they will see the deceased again and it may even cause fear of sleeping for themselves. They may develop anxiety associated with bedtime and a fear of not waking up.

 

Encourage Questions and Discussion:

Death is the unknown realm that we are unaware of. Even as adults we all wonder and ask questions as to what happens when someone dies. Some have their religious or spiritual beliefs that guide them in the way they teach their children. Although, it is important that you don’t say things in the spur of the moment to lighten the pain they are feeling. Instead, be honest about not knowing and try asking them what they think happens and begin a dialogue with them. Your child will feel more involved and begin to develop an understanding of their own.

 

Be Open with your Emotions:

We tend to hide our emotions from children to spare them the worry and stress of witnessing their elder break down. The truth is that by being open with your grief and explaining what grieving is can normalize grief and allow them to accept death as a normal part of life. Your child will feel compassion and this will help them to understand the concept of death furthermore than a conversation alone.

 

Patience: 

Children tend to behave in a way that demonstrates how they are feeling on the inside. Children can get very confused with the concept of death and therefore it may show through their behavior. They may repeatedly ask you questions and want to have the conversation more than is comfortable for you as you grieve. Be patient and simply answer to the best of your ability until the child understands.

 

 

If you need any advice or would like to speak to our professionals here at, Nutmeg State Cremation Society, you can contact us, here.

 

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

Coping with an Unexpected Death

It isn't easy for family members and close friends to deal with the unexpected death of a loved one. The disbelief quickly transforms into feelings such as frustration, remorse, and regret. However...

Dealing with Unresolved Grief

People that have just experienced the death of a loved one, often find it difficult to cope with the loss. Many prefer joy over sadness or life over death. This is why people find it challenging to...

Cremation Vs. Burial Costs

Many people want to know how cremations compare against burials and what the pricing structure of these two services is. It's important to understand that there can be a variation in pricing depend...

Ideas for Memorializing Your Loved One After The Service

When a loved one passes, you need an outlet for your grief. This is typically when you start looking for ways and means of keeping that person’s memory alive. Some families keep photographs or pain...

What’s The Point Of A Funeral?

When someone we love passes away it leaves us in sorrow and having a funeral service fills in certain important needs. It helps us acknowledges that someone we love has passed away and also gives u...

5 Advantages Of Urn Vaults

Collection of the ashes is an important part of the cremation process and you need to decide which receptacle will hold them. Some families prefer to store their loved one’s ashes in their home whi...

How to Write a Condolence Letter

When a person passes away, some people find it difficult to express their feelings or are unable to attend the funeral. A condolence letter expressing your sympathy in a few simple and kind words c...

Grief - What's Normal?

Most people feel confused by their grief when they experience the death of a loved one for the first time. They wonder whether the intensity of their grief is normal. Different people react to grie...

5 Interesting Facts About Cremation

Today, many people are opting for cremations rather than burials and there are a number of reasons for this. While the trend is catching on, many people still don’t know much about cremations and h...

Coping with Grief Over the Holidays

The annual holidays can be a very tough time if you have lost a loved one. Memories of happy times and bonding tend to surface during the holiday season. This may become a stronger reminder of your...