Should Your Child Attend the Funeral?

By: Tom Gallagher
Monday, September 26, 2022

When is a child old enough to attend a funeral? Can a child in elementary school learn anything from it, or will it simply be frightening? Will your preteen eventually be sad that they didn't go? Suppose your child is only two, three, or four years old. Can a child attend a funeral without becoming overwhelmed?

These are some tricky questions you could face as a parent after a recent loss. Planning a funeral also means worrying about your child’s safety. You want to support your child as they say their goodbyes positively, but funerals are difficult for adults too.

At Nutmeg State Cremation Society, we weigh the pros and cons of letting your child attend the funeral of a family member or close friend. We'll go over the reasons why many young people benefit from participating in a funeral service. You'll also find out what to do to ensure that, should your child decide to attend the funeral, they have a positive and enlightening experience.

At What Age Can A Child Attend A Funeral?

One is never too young or old to pay respects at a death. Consider how your child behaves at other gatherings, such as a church or holiday meals. Is your child patient enough to sit still for a while before losing it? Do they understand and follow the social cues for when to speak up and keep quiet? In that case, they should be able to handle the funeral, assuming they even want to go.

The preferences of your child should serve as your primary point of reference. If a child is old enough to want to go and it's offered, they probably would benefit from going. Participation in a meaningful family ritual and the opportunity to say goodbye can positively impact children as young as one.

Attending A Funeral Can Help A Child Heal

Most professionals who study grief agree that funeral services and memorials can help many young people heal. They can aid grieving children in taking the next steps toward recovery. Funerals indeed call for special considerations for kids of various ages. It's important to consider how long your young child can sit still if they're participating.


Nutmeg State Cremation Society offers cremation services. Our team can help you with various aspects of organizing the memorial and funeral service, so feel free to call us at 203-348-0443 or start online arrangements.

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