Death is a difficult concept for most adults to grasp, so it's no surprise that children have difficulty understanding it as well. When someone dies, the most important thing you can do is be honest and truthful with them about what happened. A child may not want all of the details, but they will need some information in order to understand what has happened. In this article, we will discuss how to talk to your children about death and how to explain death to a child.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that every child will react differently to the death of a loved one. Some children may be very inquisitive and want to know all of the details, while others may not want to talk about it at all. It is important to respect your child's wishes and tailor your explanation accordingly.
Here are some important pointers to bear in mind when talking to children about death or who have recently lost a loved one.
When explaining death to a child, it is important to use simple, easy-to-understand language. Try to avoid using too much jargon or complicated terms that your child may not be able to understand. For young children, it is often helpful to keep explanations brief and focus on the basics – such as telling them that the person has died or passed away.
In case your child is old enough to understand what death means, you can try explaining it in a more detailed manner. In such cases, keep the discussion age-appropriate and answer only those questions that they ask – do not volunteer information or talk about things that are beyond their comprehension or understanding level.
After explaining death to a child, it is also important to listen and comfort them. They may feel scared, confused or sad after learning about the death of a loved one. Let them know that it is okay to feel these emotions and offer hugs and words of support. Reassure them that they are not alone in their grief and that everything will be alright.
If a death has occurred recently, it is important to keep an eye on the child for any signs of emotional or behavioral problems. If these persist over a long period of time, it is best to seek professional help from a counselor or therapist. They will be able to guide the child through their grieving process and offer support along the way
Telling your child what he or she should be expecting from now on means that the child can be prepared with a change in the routine. For example, if a grandparent has died and the child usually goes to visit them over the weekend or on special occasions, explain that those visits will no longer take place. The reason for this is so your child understands what they can expect from now on.
Bring your children and allow them to witness the funeral service or cremation. If they are too young to understand, you can take pictures or videos of the event and show it to them later on. This will help them gain closure and come to terms with what happened.
You might need to explain the funeral or cremation. Tell them what is about to happen, explain how things work too. It is important that you answer any questions they may have truthfully and patiently. This will help them process the information better.
You may also have to explain something about burial, if that is what happened. Again, answer any questions your child may have truthfully and patiently. Death can be a difficult concept for children to understand. It’s often hard for them to grasp the idea of someone no longer being alive. You will need to take extra care in explaining death to your child and helping him or her through.
Of course, tell them about what happens after the service too. If there is a reception or get-together, tell them about that. Talk to them about the happy times spent with the deceased and what everyone will miss most about them.
Most importantly, let your child know that he or she is not alone in feeling these things. There are many other children who have gone through this experience and they can offer support. You may also want to consult with a therapist if you feel like your child is struggling more than usual.
In the days and weeks to come, encourage your child to draw pictures or share their memorable stories with the deceased. Talking about these happy moments not only help them remember the one who died but also can help with grief.
As the saying goes, time heals all wounds and this applies to grief as well. There is no time limit on how long a person should grieve for so it's okay if your child takes longer than usual. It will take as long as they need to heal from the loss of their loved one and you just have to be patient with them as this process unfolds.
More importantly, get help if needed. Many funeral homes like Borek Jennings Funeral Homes offer a helping hand even after the service is over with their superb grief support. Call us today at 877-231-7900.