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How do I tell my 4 year old what is going on?

I have 2 kids a 4 year old son and a 15 month old little wild girl. My son is ver perceptive and knows if things are off. My older brother is dying from aids. His mind is going, he used to be very intelligent I think his IQ was borderline genius. Now my 34 year old brother has the mentality of a 10 year old... He will NOT do anything unless my mom asks him, and he is always out of it... (that could be from the drugs he used a while ago. He gets so happy when I come over with the kids because he loves to run in the yard with my son. My son likes his uncle and knows that is not like other adults. The doctors told my mom in December that he probably would not make it through March... and they are sticking to that prognosis... How do I explain a death like this to my son? I truly at a loss here... I do not want him to think that I am going to die everytime I get sick or anyone else... my brother is only 34 so it is a little hard


Asked by heather_84 at 3:55 PM on Mar. 5, 2009 in Relationships

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Answers (4)
  • I soooo identify with you. My son turned 4 in december and my brother succumbed to aids in january. I sort of didn't say anything about the prognosis( he had been given 6 weeks tops and died 3 weeks later) I just told my son that uncle was very sick and needed lots of medicine and was so hard coz my brother was 36. When he died i simply told my son that uncle had gone to be with God. Kids can be understanding its amazing.I agree with the others that he will understand. Sorry about your are in my prayers.

    Answer by maimutsa at 12:52 AM on Mar. 6, 2009

  • Explain that he is sick, and the doctors can't make him better. Just tell him that one day his uncle won't be here anymore. If he is very perceptive, he will let you know if he is understanding or not. Is this his first time dealing with a death? This sucks, it sucks you and your family are going through this. But I don't think you should sugar coat it. Your son will let you know if he gets it, or if he's heard enough. Just be sure to reinforce that his uncle loves him, and will always be with him in his heart. He can talk to him, like when he prays. But I wouldn't wait to long either. He may need time to adjust to the news, and kids don't always do well with things just ending abruptly.

    Answer by Buffie95 at 4:01 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • If you are religious you could approach it like this: Tell him God needed an angel to help him in heavan and he chose your brother and one day you'll get to see him again. Kids understand death better than most adults, from my experience. They usually have a few questions, but they accept it and move on. Don't underestimate your little one.

    Answer by sidzwif at 4:02 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

  • have him watch Lion King again and talk to him about the circle of life.

    Answer by admckenzie at 4:56 PM on Mar. 5, 2009

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