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What would you do?

My son that is almost 4 is with his grandparents this weekend. My parents have to go to a funeral visitation. They want to take my som with him. I told them I thought it would freak him out. My husband and I have never talked to him about death. Anyway, my dad responded by telling me he has to experience it at some point. He said there would be other little kids there. I just think he's way too young. Maybe with him being so young, he won't understand. I just don't know what to do! Advice...

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Asked by BWIND at 8:56 AM on Jan. 23, 2011 in General Parenting

Level 10 (431 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • this is a tough one... he might not fully understand whats going on around him but if youre really against I would ask them not to take him.. although imho i dont think it will traumatize him

    Answer by zperez0809 at 8:58 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • My kids were about 4 and 5 when I needed to attended my uncles funeral. I did not take them. I didn;t think that was the way to teach them about death. They finally understood death and its finality about a year ago when we had a kitten pass away. I just think a child (4 and under) doesn't need to learn about death just yet.

    Answer by 4xsthetrouble at 8:59 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Thanks! I mean my aunt has had a couple of animals that have died...and when he asked about them, we just told him they went to heaven. I know he doesn't get it. I may call and tell him my cousin can watch him.

    Comment by BWIND (original poster) at 9:03 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • well if its not a close relative then its not really necessary. but my nephews were young and i think my one nephew was 4yrs old. but it was because it was his greatgrandfather and ofcourse you are not going so i would only take my dd if i was going. there was this one lady that use to take care of my grandfather and she brought her son. he slept through it. but if its not ncessary and someone can watch him then take him. do you think he will behave? i mean death is part of life but again its your decision. are the grandparents ready to answer all the questions if he has and if he is playing loudly with the other child what will she do? i mean its ok for the kids to play. they are children and that is what my nephews did and they were very well behaved at the church also.

    Answer by lambdarose at 9:08 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • IMO it's really something he should experience with you and your SO. There is no real need for him to be at this one. Your family needs to do what you feel comfortable with.


    Answer by elizabr at 9:08 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • All of my kids have been exposed to family deaths at young ages. Your son will have to deal with it at some point. Kids are much faster to understand things than some people give then credit for. Could it freak him out, sure...I know adults that don't handle funerals well. My husband and I have always thought that it's important for our kids to understand life has ups and downs. We want to be sure that they are prepared for life and as sad as it is....death is a part of life. What you choose to teach your son and when is up to you, but try to think about the learning possibilities of the situation as well.


    Answer by how_reb at 9:12 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I think this is something he should be experiencing with you and his father for the first time NOT his grandparents. That being said if it isn't someone he was close to and they insist on taking him then make sure they don't take him up to the casket or anything and they typically have rooms where the little ones hang out and have no idea what is going on so make sure they ring queit toys like coloring books etc. My children were 3 and 1 when they went to their first funeral and it was their great grandma. A year later another great grandma. I let them both see the women in the caskets and then they went to the kids room and played with the quiet toys I had brought along with the other kids.

    Answer by aeneva at 10:15 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • Well, what would u do if u had to go to a funeral and had no family or babysitter for ur son? U would be forced to take him and explain death to him. But, on the other hand, u have a choice so this is a hard one! Hmmmm....I think he's a touch too young, and I would go pick him up and then tell ur parents that if they'd like to see him they can come and pick him up on their way home!

    Answer by PANZONSMOM at 10:21 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • +If he is going to go I think he should be fully warned before hand and briefed on what he is going to see and experience. And I would prefer for my son to have me and his dad there if it was his first time experiencing it too.

    Answer by keyaziz at 10:29 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

  • I think he should experience it. And if he has questions then you talk to him about it.

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 10:45 AM on Jan. 23, 2011

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