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What do I tell her?

My 3 year old walked up to me today and with a puzzled look on her face asked me "Mommy, why do things die?" Wow. I am personally still grieving the loss of my brother, grandmother, and unborn baby, all lost within the past year. I don't know what to tell my little girl. I didn't know she was so in tune with all the recent losses. I'm feeling confused and a little lost. I am not religious. Any advice?


Asked by katskelington at 1:33 PM on May. 27, 2010 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (7)
  • I would take this opportunity while she is in tune to things happening around her to instill a lesson to be learned for her best interst.

    The saying "ashes to ashes" is we are formed from ashes into some valuable until we become ashes again and we need to make the best of the time while we are valuable and beautiful before we turn to ash again, I was orphaned and no one told me about life and I would have found these words invaluable had someone told me.

    I have a 4 and 5 year old and I explain LOTS of things in detail to them and they definitely understand and we have such close relationshiips because of my honesty about life and things they ask me about. I youtube alot of answers for them actually lol. But in all honesty kat I would explain to your toddler the anatomical way our bodies work and break down and how tender our bodies are and you might be suprised how well y our 3 year old understands.

    Answer by tsjpop at 8:52 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • personally, i would tell my kid the truth.. something along the lines of " i dont really know sweetie. nobody knows for sure. "

    Answer by PURPULbutterfly at 1:35 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • It's part of life. Things are born, they die, and then things are born again. It's a cycle that never ends. It's hard when it's personal, someone close to you, and it takes time to grieve their loss, but they will live on inside us all in our memories of them.

    Answer by xxhazeldovexx at 1:36 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • I would not lie. I would tell her We are born into this would. And we die. We stop living. Everything dies/stops living.

    Answer by louise2 at 1:39 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • Kiwi asked the same question when her grandfather died right before she turned 3. We told her that sometimes, their bodies just stop working. The heart stops beating, the lungs stop taking in air, the brain stops sending signals to the body to stay alive. Everyone dies, just due to different causes and at different times/ages. Just avoid words like "sick" and "sleeping" because it will make them terrified everytime they get sick or go to bed. My husband's dad had a heart attack and Kiwi has a heart condition, so we had to ask people not to mention the heart attack around her, and we didn't tell her that part.
    Kids are pretty good at knowing when something is wrong and will try in their own ways to help. Just try to be honest with her. Good luck, and I'm sorry it's so hard for you.

    Answer by Kiwismommy19 at 2:01 PM on May. 27, 2010

  • Just tell her is part of a cycle that life has, people are born and others die to make room for those who are being born. Tell her it is perfectly normal and she shouldn't be afraid or even think about it, that she will understand better when she is older

    Answer by older at 9:04 AM on May. 28, 2010

  • i had to explain it do ds last year when i had my second child (who died) i just told him that the babys body stopped working. (it was true because he died of kidney failure) so that is a simple thing to say. and highlights how we have to make healthy and safe choices.

    Answer by AmaliaD at 9:57 AM on May. 28, 2010