Tips for Explaining the Concept of Death to Children

By: Tom Gallagher
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Most kids do not fully understand what death is and that it is permanent. They are unable to recognize its significance and parents or guardians have to explain the concept to them. However, this can be quite a challenging proposition for many adults who always want to keep their children protected.

Some Considerations

At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we have seen that parents sometimes are unsure about how to explain the concept of death to their children. Here are some useful pointers:

  • Parents are instinctive in wanting to shield their kids when there is a death in the family and they may use vague terms to explain it to them. However, this is not a good idea as it gives children a skewed view of death. It’s crucial that you use clear terms and tell the child very simply about what has occurred and that the person will no longer move, breathe or talk to them. They need to understand that this a permanent thing.
     
  • People tend to avoid discussions about death and start explaining it only when the situation arises, which can be a mistake. At that time the child may not be in the right frame of mind, will not process the information well, and can become distressed. Its far better to discuss what death means well in advance. For example, if they see an insect in the garden, you can explain how it might have died and what that means.
     
  • The discussion about death cannot be a hasty one and you must take the time to explain it very well to your child. If they have questions or doubts after you have spoken with them, answer those questions and address the doubts rather than shrugging them off.

At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we provide comprehensive funeral services and can help you with all aspects of the process.

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