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How can I help my six year old daughter who is afraid of dying?

My husband's sister and father died this past year. My daughter says she is afraid of falling out the window but then which seems to be what she is fixating on in her fear of death. I wonder also if she is using it a little for attention because my husband and I give her a lot of attention when she expresses this worries.

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Asked by Anonymous at 10:15 PM on Oct. 9, 2010 in School-Age Kids (5-8)

Answers (17)
  • Remind her how young she is and how much time she has left. Remind her how rare tragedies (like falling out of windows) are and make sure her fears don't develop into an anxiety disorder. I was about that age when I started getting actual panic attack that started with a fear of death. It wasn't I was 16 that I received help for it and by then a lot of issues could have been avoided

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:21 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • "Well look how old I am! I'm oooold! And gramms? She's reeeeally old! " That's what I tell mine. Sometimes people die. Its a fact of life. But we have screens on the window and that will keep you from falling out. Don't worry about it. I'm not. You'll be fiiine.

    Answer by stepho345 at 10:21 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • She could be that she does have a genuine fear, but is exaggerating it for the attention that she recieves. It's important to talk to her about what she believs death is, what happens after death, etc. When children have a sense of belief in death and the afterlife then they tend to calm down a little bit. It's important though for it to be their belief, because that's something they can find within themselves.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:40 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • P.S. It could be her way also of expressing her fear, but might be a little confused about the whole thing. And with confusion can sometimes come exaggeration or even obession. Especially in little kids. Just talk with her and try to express how you feel about it, what you believe, and then see what she feels and believes. If you truely believe it's for attention then don't feed into it, because she'll only pour into it more and more.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:42 PM on Oct. 9, 2010

  • You might check out this book and see if it would be helpful, has excellent reviews

    Answer by SophiaofLight at 6:10 AM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • don't worry about the attention. she may just need the extra attention til she works through this. When my FIL died, though my son had never really spent time with him it really worried him for along time. He has Asperger's to compound it but he just had to work thorough it.

    Answer by Liansmommie at 6:04 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Don't make a big deal about it, don't fuss over her about this. Death is a normal and natural part of the life cycle. Explain death simply and in a matter-of-fact way. Don't like it to getting old and aging though - many young people die too. And don't make promises about how long anyone will be around. Just assure her that you'll do your best to be healthy and that you'll help her to make healthy and safe choices too.

    Answer by aliceinalgonac at 6:10 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • Children have to learn about death usually it's the death of a pet. To lose an Aunt or a grandfather at her age, has to be difficult for her understand. Answer her question but don't go into great detail. Wait till she asks another. She will need time to process your answer. Don't hide your feelings, be honest with her. I remember worrying about death at 8. It really was a big thing to me. I was completely ignored by my parents. I have been questioning death all my life. I am close to understanding it.

    Answer by depressedmom65 at 7:14 PM on Oct. 10, 2010

  • I lost my dad at 3, he was only 26 and had cancer. Please get your daughter some help. I was worried about dying until I turned 27, then I actually started have health problem after that but I'm no longer worried about dying because I sought professional help. If you are religious tell how great heaven can be and that you will all be together again when you dye but that most people live to be real old people and not to worry about death. Just reasurre her and love her. Also this she may be doing it for attention,but when someone dies children do need extra attention and sometimes counsiling

    Answer by beckybuck at 10:53 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

  • I doubt she is using this as an attention getter. Children who are only beginning to realize a thing such as death deal with it in their own way. Hers seems to be fear of, obviously. I agree talk to her in a manner that says some go early and some live to ripe old ages. One never knows but the secret is to live now. Let her know death is only a natural progression but that what we do until death comes for us is living. and hug her!

    Answer by cracklinbread at 11:50 AM on Oct. 11, 2010

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