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how do you speak to your children about death?

my daughter is only 17months so i have awhile until this subject really comes up but how does everyone speak to your young children about dying and death?

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lambdarose

Asked by lambdarose at 8:13 PM on Aug. 26, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 22 (14,088 Credits)
Answers (9)
  • my girls are 2.5 and 5 we well them that so and so went to be with jesus in heaven
    mommy5409

    Answer by mommy5409 at 8:17 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Not until we really had to talk about it. My older kids were 2 & nearly 4 when my grandmother died. My youngest was 4 last year when FIL died. We were open and honest and read them books about it.
    balagan_imma

    Answer by balagan_imma at 8:18 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • Whenever I have to speak to children about death I don't skirt the subject, obviously, because I think they're people too and they have to right to know these things. However, I do try to explain that sometimes these things just happen and that even though it's sad it was just what was meant to happen. Most children handle things a lot better than we expect them to, and I don't believe in trying to keep them completely in the dark.
    SarahBel

    Answer by SarahBel at 8:18 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • As of right now, we just say when something dies. Its gone. But it doesn't know its gone or sad that its gone because its just like before you were born (conceived). We feel sad that something/someone we care about is gone, the but person (pet) isn't sad, they don't hurt, they just are gone. So far this seems to be enough. We haven't really gotten into heaven, souls, etc.. because he's only 4. We just try to keep it to age appropriate factual information.
    karamille

    Answer by karamille at 8:20 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • The library children section has some good books you might want to check out.
    musicmom08

    Answer by musicmom08 at 8:21 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • We never sheltered our kids from death. Movies, games, books all have death in them now a days and we never stopped them from being exposed to it because we felt it was better that way. So when a family member passed they had a basic understanding of once they are dead they are gone. Beyond that we never told them anything... We just said they went away and have to stay away forever.
    SabrinaMBowen

    Answer by SabrinaMBowen at 8:38 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • thanks for everyones answers. i guess i have some time until she really understands or asks any questions but i was just curious since a close friend of the family just passed and it was very sudden.
    lambdarose

    Comment by lambdarose (original poster) at 9:11 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • when they've asked I've said its part of the "circle of life" (yeah lion king) and that it happens to everyone sometime but mostly when you are older. I had a brief talk with my ds when he was 2 and our dog died... and he took that well.
    They get curious b/c my great-aunt (90) lives with us and they know she is old (and kinda senile). My dd is her fav. and she will sit with her and show her all her picture of her family and cousins which are all, or at least mostly..... dead.... so we've had brief talks from time to time.
    It makes me more nervous than the sex talk though I have to say... its so abstract and hard... and what do I say do when someone REALLY close to us dies (and its a run off b/w my auntie, step mom, and mother depending on the month and all auntie has is old age)
    MamiJaAyla

    Answer by MamiJaAyla at 9:41 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

  • We basically explained it like the circle of life thing, too. You are born, you live, you die. Some people die younger than others but most people die when they are old. They've already lost their grandfather (my fil), a great uncle and their great-grandma (and my mom but she died when the oldest was a newborn).
    The hardest for them was the great uncle because they had visited him in the hospital just days before he died so it was real clear in their heads but they knew he was really sick, too. We weren't able to go to his funeral which was sad.
    justanotherjen

    Answer by justanotherjen at 10:13 PM on Aug. 26, 2010

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