Advertising
Advertising

8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About Death

8 Tips on How to Talk to Your Kids About Death

Death is a part of life. When it occurs due to natural causes it can be a bit easier to handle. Yet, when unexpected, the process of explaining death to a child becomes that much more difficult. While it may be easier to tell a child that the special someone is “sleeping,” the child grows up with a sense of betrayal when the person never returns. Certainly it is a most difficult task, but the best policy is to be straightforward and gentle.

1. Base Your Discussion On The Child And The Situation

Provide only enough information that answers the child’s questions about the death. Assure the child that the person is no longer in any pain, but sadly not returning. Assure the child that they are well-loved and will be taken care of. Discuss happier memories of the person and reassure the child that even though the person is gone they will never be forgotten.

2. Allow The Child To Grieve

Grieving is a natural process, and it is unnatural and cruel not to make allowances for grief. Provide appropriate outlets for grief, such as allowing them to go to the funeral, sharing memories of the deceased with others, and talking about the loved one. Remember there are no strict time lines for grieving. Talk with the child as he or she needs to be listened to.

Advertising

3. Be Honest But Avoid Potentially Traumatizing Information

Answer a child’s questions honestly. Exclude every last detail of the death; these are details the child simply has no need of knowing. For example, if it was a sudden accident, there is simply no need to traumatize the child further with details about the accident. Always reassure the child that they are safe and protected and that while accidents do happen, the child does not need to worry.

4. Watch Out For Unusual Behavior After The Discussion

The child may exhibit unusual behavior after a death occurs. The child may think they can reunite with the loved one after a death and may consider or attempt suicide; seek professional help immediately in that case. The child may withdraw socially and no longer wish to play as he or she once did. Encourage play by engaging the child in activities he or she enjoys.

5. Be A Good Listener

Advertising

1-bitt

    Ask the child open-ended questions to encourage discussion and then simply listen. Allowing the child to air his or her grief is a good way on the path to grief recovery. The child may get “stuck” in a particular discussion, in which case it is good simply to continue listening until the child is fully prepared to move forward.

    6. Avoid Lying About The Death

    While it may seem easier to simply tell the child that the person has simply “gone away” as if on a vacation, the result is that the child will learn that you cannot be trusted in being truthful. Yes, in a sense, the person has “gone away,” but be sure to emphasize that the person cannot come back or that there are no possibilities of visitation.

    7. Create A Ritual Of The Death

    Advertising

    1-bitt

      While it may see counterintuitive, a death ritual helps a child come to terms with the death. In the West, this normally includes families reuniting, a wake, and then the funeral. Prepare the child by letting them now that people are coming and some may be new faces. Tell them what happens in a wake and what to expect during the funeral.

      8. Prepare To Answer Questions

      1-bitt

        Again, the key here is to be honest. Answer to the best of your knowledge; it is absolutely fine to tell the child that there is something you don’t know. Be aware of age appropriate answers and avoid providing too much detail.

        Advertising

        Featured photo credit: Flowers rest on headstone in cemetery via shutterstock.com

        More by this author

        20 Awesome DIY Office Organization Ideas That Boost Efficiency 25 Simple And Creative Ways To Cheer Someone Up 25 Bathroom Hacks You’ll Want to Share With Everyone The Best Answers to the 7 Worst Interview Questions 10 Benefits of Bitter Melon That Makes It Even More Worth Eating

        Trending in Family

        1 What Happened to Family Dinners? Why We Should Bring Them Back 2 How to Cope with Empty Nest Syndrome and Stop Feeling Lonely 3 How Not to Let Work Take Priority over Spending Time With Family 4 35 Life Hacks for Kids That Make Parenting Easier And More Fun 5 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

        Read Next

        Advertising
        Advertising
        Advertising

        Last Updated on September 25, 2019

        How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

        How to Tap Into the Power of Positivity

        As it appears, the human mind is not capable of not thinking, at least on the subconscious level. Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action.

        When we were still children, our thoughts seemed to be purely positive. Have you ever been around a 4-year old who doesn’t like a painting he or she drew? I haven’t. Instead, I see glee, exciting and pride in children’s eyes. But as the years go by, we clutter our mind with doubts, fears and self-deprecating thoughts.

        Just imagine then, how much we limit ourselves in every aspect of our lives if we give negative thoughts too much power!

        We’ll never go after that job we’ve always wanted because our nay-saying thoughts make us doubt our abilities.

        We’ll never ask that person we like out on a date because we always think we’re not good enough.

        Advertising

        We’ll never risk quitting our job in order to pursue the life and the work of our dreams because we can’t get over our mental barrier that insists we’re too weak, too unimportant and too dumb.

        We’ll never lose those pounds that risk our health because we believe we’re not capable of pushing our limits.

        And we’ll never be able to fully see our inner potential because we simply don’t dare to question the voices in our head…

        But enough is enough! It’s time to stop these limiting beliefs and come to a place of sanity, love and excitement about life, work and ourselves.

        So, how can we tap into the power of positivity?

        Advertising

        “Happiness cannot come from without, it comes from within.” – Helen Keller

        It’s not as hard as it may seem; you just have to practice, practice, practice. Here are 4 simple yet powerful ideas on how you can get started.

        1. Learn to substitute every negative thought with a positive one.

        Every time a negative thought crawls into your mind, replace it with a positive thought. It’s just like someone writes a phrase you don’t like on a blackboard and then you get up, erase it and write something much more to your liking.

        Just take a look at these 10 Positive Affirmations for Success that will Change your Life.

        2. See the positive side of every situation, even when you are surrounded by pure negativity.

        This one is a bit harder to put into practice, which does not mean it’s impossible.

        Advertising

        You can find positivity in everything by mentally holding on to something positive, whether this be family, friends, your faith, nature, someone’s sparkling eyes or whatever other glimmer of beauty.

        If you seek it, you will find it.

        3. At least once a day, take a moment and think of 5 things you are grateful for.

        This will lighten your mood and give you some perspective of what really is important in life and how many blessings surround you already.

        Here’re 60 Things To Be Thankful For In Life that can inspire you.

        4. Change the mental images you allow to enter your mind.

        How you see yourself and your surroundings make a huge difference to your thinking.

        Advertising

        Instead of dwelling on dark, negative thoughts, consciously build and focus on positive, light and colorful images, thoughts and situations in your mind a few times a day.

        Learn from this article how to change your mental images: How to Think Positive and Eliminate Negative Thoughts

        If you are persistent and keep on working on yourself, your mind will automatically reject its negative thoughts and welcome the positive ones.

        And remember:

        You are (or will become) what you think you are.

        This is reasonable enough to be proactive about whatever is going on in your head.

        More About Staying Positive

        Featured photo credit: Lauren Richmond via unsplash.com

        Read Next