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at what age..

my good friend and neighbor passed away and today is her viewing my kids were close to her my 13 yr old 11 yr old and 8 yr old want to go i think thats ok but what about my 10yr old (has special needs) my 5yr old and 4 yr old they want to go but im not sure they should...ive talked to them and explained as best i could whats going to happen

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Asked by bubbles7706 at 8:48 AM on Jul. 16, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (9)
  • You would be so surprised at how well kids do in these instances. I think the older 4 will be fine. The younger 2 is more at your discretion. You make the decision for them. They are children and dont have enough information about this to make a realistic choice. Answer these questions...Do you feel they would sit still and be quiet for that length of time? Do you think they could comprehend the situation enough to be quiet and respectful? Do you think they would be okay seeing a body in a casket and not get freaked? If you feel they could do all of this and behave well, then I say yes. My husbands grandmother passed in May and all of our kids went. Our three yr old slept the entire time but he was very unaware of what was going on. He didnt even notice the body. He did really well. My 7 yr old understood and even went to look at her in the casket. They needed that so they could put closure on it. Just use your own discretion

    Answer by momofsaee at 8:55 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • In my family, my parents always had us attend services, even as young children. Afterwards everyone always got together and talked about all the happy times we shared with that person. Now that I am an adult, I see passing as another stage of life. So, I guess my suggestion would be that you've done the right thing by preparing them for the days events, but at the end of the day make sure to discuss lots of happy things which will give the kids some stability for the day.

    Answer by MaryAnne3mommy at 8:55 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • when my mom passed away my kids were 13, 11 and 2. My neices and nephews were 12,11,7,5,and 3. All her grandkids were there. None of them had a hard time (more so than normal) at either her viewing or her funeral.

    Answer by pagirl71 at 9:15 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Let them go and let them ask as many questions as they want so that they can learn to process death and place it in the framework of their mind so as to be able to have a better understanding of the world. Death is inevitable - let them learn about it by asking questions until they have it processed to their liking.

    Answer by JPsMommy605 at 9:57 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Not the younger ones. Kids that age don't really understand death to the point of seeing that dead person. Besides they probably would not have the attention span to be there while you chat and whatnot.

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:25 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • Momofsaee perfectly summed it up. The older ones are definitely ok to go, I think. I would make the decision on the younger ones based on your knowledge of them. When my stepson was 4, his stepdad's grandmother passed away. He didn't want to go, but my husband and his mother would have taken him had he wanted to go. They asked if he wanted to tell "Oma" goodbye and he said he already did that at the hospital and he didn't want to see her again. So he didn't go. But we all think he would have coped well if he had gone.

    Answer by Mom1Stepmom1 at 10:37 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • We've been taking our children with us to funerals and viewings since they were 3-4 years old. I don't believe in shielding my kids from reality and death is just a part of reality. They know when we go to a viewing that it's NOT a time to play and act silly. It's a time to be quiet and respectful. We've never had a problem.

    I remember going to funerals and viewings at a VERY young age and I learned then what death was and how to deal with it.

    Answer by Bethsunshine at 10:43 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • I went to my first funeral at 8. It was for my gramma who I barely knew. All I remember is that I really hate open casket wakes and despise traditional funerals, lol.
    When my aunts died (I was a teen by then) the whole family was there including all the little children. When my mom died I would have been very offended if my cousins hadn't brought their children (my daughter was only 8 weeks old and she was there).
    When my father in law died there was no question that the kids were going. They were 2 1/2, 18 months and 5 months. Their cousins were 10, 7 and 3 and my husband's cousin's kids were around 4, 5 and 1. The 4 and 5 year olds did not behave but that was just them (those boys were out of control no matter where they were). The other kids all sat quietly.
    As long as you can trust them to sit still and be quiet for a little while. You could sit in the back just in case you need to excuse yourself if that helps.

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:50 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

  • I think that the viewing of a dead body is barbaric and disrespectful

    Depending on the maturity level, they may be old enough to attend the funeral.

    They certainly are old enough to make a condolence call to the famliy's home.

    Answer by rkoloms at 11:43 AM on Jul. 16, 2009

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