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How do you tell your kids about death?

Children are so innocent and naive to life and really don't understand, how do you tell them about death? Do you just let them make their own idea about it? Do you tell them the facts and don't sugar coat it? Do you make it sound sweet like a vacation they will never come home from?

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Asked by HTMommy at 9:32 PM on Sep. 22, 2010 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 16 (2,685 Credits)
Answers (14)
  • I tell my daughter the truth. I don't sugar coat it.

    Answer by Mommy2Gabrielle at 9:37 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • My bf's 5yr old daughters came home crying one evening because someone had mentioned to them that someday they would die.. It wasnt ment to upset them, but they cried and screamed that they didnt want to die! so he sat them down and explained that it would b a very long time till they would have to worry about dieing, and that when someone died, they went to heaven, and waited for the rest of the family to come meet them there. It seemed to work.

    Answer by sarahlu at 9:39 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • When my oldest was 7 my husband's Grandfather died. My son Jack was so sad, he just cried and cried at the service. We talked to him about heaven and about how he would see great Grandpa again, but it didn't help much.

    After the service the priest saw him crying and came over and talk to my son. He said that he understood that death was scary and sad. My son said he was going to miss Grandpa forever, and the priest said, "I can see why you will miss him, but he will always be alive in your memories and in your heart."Some how my son just stopped crying and started thinking about the happy times he had with Great Grandpa.

    I don't know it that is the answer, but it sure helped my son.

    Answer by SleepingBeautee at 9:40 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • I think it's best to be straightforward. That said, we have not lost someone very close to us (grace of God). I've only had to try to explain the death of bugs and geckos so far. Not sure she gets it, but I tell her anyway- "No honey he's not sleeping, he died. He's gone away."

    Answer by sfwilson at 9:40 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • You might want to go to the library in the children area they have books on the subject. Every children as adults handle death in their own unique way.


    Answer by musicmom08 at 9:41 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • i tell them the truth. i let them see the body and tell them they can never come alive again because their body is broken. then i tell them about your soul and how that is the one part of your body that can't get broken and goes to live with jesus. we're christian (obviously lol), but it's basically the same for everyone i guess except for the jesus part lol. and i also remind them that they can think about the person, animal, whatever and they will not be forgotten. i let them know it's ok to be sad and to cry

    Answer by princessbeth79 at 9:44 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • my neice lost her grandpa who she was very close with i sat with her and i told her, that god had to take her pop pop because he loved him soo much and pop pop lived and very happy life here so now it is time for him to go to heaven and even tho you cant see pop pop or hug him, he is always around.. in the day he is the blue in the sky, or that big fluffy cloud.. and at night he is the brightest star.. he will always be looking down on you.. and you can hug him in your heart! :]

    Answer by SammiGirl07 at 9:45 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • Talking to children about death can be hard but you must be honest and treat them like adults. Don't try to shelter them from it. By being honest and upfront about the the situation they will understand that you care about their feelings. Be very open when they have questions and try to understand that they are just curious and want answers to questions that at the time may be hard to answer but you are trying your best to help them understand what death is. And what happens to people when they do die. We as adults do not understand death sometimes either so just do the best you can under this circumstance.

    Answer by Faithful2408 at 9:46 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • we've had my grandmother and my little cousin (6 yrs old) die within a month of each other and I have a 7,5, and 18 month old and they have no clue, they don't understand, and with my grandmother we just said she was very old and her body was old and she needed to leave it, so she went to be with grandpa up in heaven. we are still having a very hard time with it all right now and the kids see me cry and don't understand why but are very empathetic and give me or my mom hugs and say it'll be ok.

    Comment by HTMommy (original poster) at 9:48 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

  • We tell the truth. The first time when he lost his grandparents it took a while for it to really make sense to him (5 year olds don't have a good concept of "forever"). With his aunts this year he understands better - he's 7 now. I do make a point to try not to get very upset around him that much - I'll duck into the bathroom or give DH a heads up to keep him busy while I go to another room for a while. An adult will understand if I stumble across an email my aunt sent me 6 months ago setting me off out of the blue, but I don't expect him to wrap his head around that.

    Answer by NotPanicking at 10:08 PM on Sep. 22, 2010

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