It’s important to teach children about death as it is a part of life. Yet, it can also be a difficult subject to tackle.
Whether they’ve recently lost someone important in their lives, or they just have questions about the concept, having the “right” answers can make a big difference.
As parents, we want to keep our children safe from as much as we can. But it’s vital to teach children about death. Children and grief do go together, even as much as we dislike that combination.
As mentioned, death is a part of life. Teaching your kids that concept as soon as they’re able to understand it will make it easier for them to cope.
Many times, we don’t teach children about death because we aren’t sure what to say or how to answer their questions. So, here are some tools you can use to make the process easier and more effective.
Use Age-Appropriate Language and Techniques
To teach children about death appropriately, it’s important to use language and ideas they understand. In other words, you wouldn’t talk to a preschooler about death the same way you would with your ten-year-old.
Younger children do well with examples. Explaining death as a concept might be too complex for younger minds, but telling your young child that someone has lost their ability to feel, think, move, or play can be easier for them to understand.
By the time your child reaches age five, they may be more curious about death. Especially if someone close to them has recently passed away.
This is a great opportunity to listen to their questions and find out what they’re really struggling with when it comes to the concept of dying.
Don’t waver in your answers. Instead, be repetitive. The more you assure your children of these concepts, the easier it will be for them to understand.
One of the most important things to tell kids of any age is that death is a natural process.
Many times, the first experience that a child will have is a pet dying, or maybe an older relative. To help them move through their grief, answer questions in ways they can comprehend.
Accept Your Child’s Expression of Grief
Young children may grieve differently than adults. They need time to process the concept of death. Additionally, they may need extra time to come to terms with the fact that whoever died is not returning.
When children mourn, they might start to act out with anger or confusion. This is usually because they’re scared. Assure your child that they are safe and loved, offering comfort through security.
Furthermore, patience is key when it comes to dealing with your child’s grief.
They may continue to ask questions throughout the mourning process. To keep talking about death may be highly uncomfortable for you during this time. However, it’s essential to encourage honesty and openness in your child. Doing so will make them feel more comfortable, having a stronger grasp on dying.
Know Your Resources
Death is often unpredictable. However, if you’re worried that your family will be dealing with the death of a loved one soon, please contact me.
I’m happy to offer additional guidance you can use when it comes to helping your child work through their grief. Also, if your family has already experienced a recent death and your child is struggling, I am also available to provide guidance and support.
Please visit here to learn more about how I can help you and your child understand death and dying.