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how did you explain death to your child

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Asked by shay1130 at 8:01 PM on Nov. 16, 2009 in General Parenting

Level 27 (32,809 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • What are your personal beliefs, if you believe in heaven you can say they went to heaven. Depending on the age should guide you what else to say or how much info to give. Death is hard for adults to completely understand sometimes, so keep it as simple as possible without scaring them.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 8:05 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • well if your religous you could use the whole heaven idea.

    but about a year ago my daughter was at her dads for the weekend and found her aunt after she over dosed.....she had vomited blood and it was a bad scene. and i had to explain it to her then. i just told her that everyone dies at some point. that sometimes accidents happen but most people get to get really old first. and she was ok with that answer. a;though i did have her go to a couple counseling sessions after that.

    Answer by cassie_m at 8:09 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • op here....i'm not really religious but my grandparents are so when my son asks about heaven i just kinda agree. I just told him they were really sick and old and there was no medicine to help him anymore...but my 4 yr. old always seems to have a come back for me!
    He has been really sick with his allergies and asthma the past month...i've even had to take him to the ER twice...he said "did they not have any medicine for his allergies...i don't want to be in a box like him mommy" I did'nt even let my son view my uncle but he knew everyone else was looking. I didnt know what to say when he asked me that...i just stuck to "no, he was really old"

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:18 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • Unfortunately we have dealt with this twice this year. My oldest two are almost seven and now five. Death is very hard to explain. We also stuck to Grandpa F was very sick and he went to heaven, but then when Grandma W passed away she wasn't sick, she was just 90! We kept it to it's okay, they are not hurting anymore and now they have a much better job, watching over us. I explained that people die for numerous reasons and only God knows when our time is, but that YOU (child) will have lots of years and not to worry about that because it is years away. I explained that everyone is born and everyone dies. It's a fact of life. (We believe) I explained that if you lead a good life and make good decisions that you may be lucky enough to end up in heaven someday too. Talk from your heart, but don't make it too serious. Your child will eventually let it go and when someone else passes away you will just have to reinforce your ideas

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 8:58 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • I should also add that even though I did not allow my children to see my Grandpa F in a box (there was a family viewing that they did not attend) there wasn't any way to stop them from seeing Grandma W. It was okay, both touched her, realized that she was gone and not scary and I think in a way really finalized things for them. Grandpa F in January and Grandma W was in June, so we have had several months of non stop talk about heaven and death since, so you can probably expect the same. I would just keep reinforcing your thoughts.

    Answer by MamaRoberts at 9:01 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • I told mine that when someone dies, they are buried in the ground or put in a special jar, then we go to a funeral or memorial, which is a bunch of people getting together to say goodbye to that person, becasue they will never come home again.

    Answer by NightPhoenix at 9:15 PM on Nov. 16, 2009

  • As odd as it sounds we started teaching them about death with having fish as pets when they were little. Starting young seemed to help them comprehend the concept. Eventually we had another small pets like hamsters and eventually hamsters die and then we had older dogs that died. Losing animals hurt but, they learned that death happened. In 1999 the 1st person close to them passed away and they were 12, 11, 8 and 7 and they understood that it was not the end for their great great grandmother who was 96. In 2000 their grandfather died. It was a little harder for them to handle since he was only 53 but they handled it so much better than they would have if we'd have never had explained death to them early on.

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:13 AM on Nov. 17, 2009

  • My father died very unexpectedly on July 5th this yr. My son is 4. This was a hard thing for him to grasp. We did not take him to the funeral or the funeral home. Only my older children who knew him and were closer to him went. He knew mommy was sad, he knew Grandpa died, but I don't think he really understands. I told him Grandpa got sick. He asked if he was in the hospital or better now. I told him no, Grandpa died. He asked why. I told him sometimes people get sick and the doctors can't make them better so they are just gone forever. I tried the Heaven talk and that just opened a whole new can of questions and seemed to really confuse him. I am sure as he gets older he will begin to understand. My dad was found floating face down in the pool..I did not want to go into details about his death at so young an age. He will get there some day. For now, it is all he needs to know.

    Answer by salexander at 1:32 PM on Nov. 18, 2009

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