The topic of death is never easy to deal with. When it comes to acceptance and the grieving process, sometimes talking about death will help people come to terms with the loss and help them move on with their lives. However, sometimes, this process becomes much more complicated when you need to explain the concept of death to a child.
Children have their whole lives ahead of them. In many cases, many people may find it difficult to find the right words to explain the notion of death to children. While it may be a sensitive topic, it is a good idea to talk to your child if you have recently suffered a death in your family.
Five Tips on Talking to Children about Death
If you are at a loss on how to talk to your child about a recent death in your family, here are a few tops on how best to handle the conversation you need to have with your child.
1 – Be Honest to Them
It is not a good idea to lie to your child. Tell them about what happened to your loved one and why they passed away. Children are often more understanding and resilient than you’d think, and chances are that they will be able to handle the logical truth when you share it with them.
2 – Teach Them What Death Means
Talking about death with a child is sometimes made more difficult by the fact that you may also be grieving yourself. Some children may not fully understand that they will not be able to talk and interact with your deceased loved one anymore after they have passed. It is a good idea to explain to them to allow them to process things and know what to expect.
3 – Let Them Process the Information
Allow your child to come to terms with what you have just shared to them. Learning about a very final end to life may be overwhelming and your children may need some time to process and absorb this information. Show them that you are open to answering any questions they may have about death. Be ready for their reactions and consider suggesting something you can do together to remember the loved one.
4 – Prepare Them for What is to Come
There may be a lot of stressful and overwhelming situations ahead, like the funeral service and burial among other things. It is a good investment of your time to prepare your child for what is to come so they do not get upset when it does. Many children get upset when something happens that they do not understand. Helping them understand the schedule of events that will follow will allow your child to anticipate what will happen next without feeling scared and uncertain.
5 – Grieve Together
Grieve together as a family and involve your child in the process. Keep in mind that they are people too. They also need an outlet for grief and sadness, just like the best of us.
Everyone processes grief differently. How you may handle the pain and sadness of losing someone you love may not be the same way others deal with the same situation. Children are also people and it is wrong to expect them to react to the loss of their loved one in the same manner as you.
The best way to help your child is to guide them through it and explain what happened. Teach them that death is a natural part of life that they may need to accept and deal with. Allowing them to process and understand these emotions will help them get through the situation.
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