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Explaining death to a 4 year old

my 4 year olds dad was a drive by homicide victim 4 years ago when our daughter was only 1 month & a half but ive always kept his name & image alive, i have our pictures framed up everywhere & theres no day his name is not mentioned by either me, my family or his family to which im very close to but the time has come where our daughter asks a million questions about what, when, where, how & why her daddy died, idk what to tell her but once she stops she'll just sit there sad then tells me she wanted to meet him tho, how she wants to talk to him & take him places, do things. it breaks my heart when she asks why do all her little friends & everyone else have daddies except for her & she also asks if God took him away because he misbehaved & when she misbehaves she'll ask me if she's gonna die. . .ahhhhh idk how to handle this, i dnt want her to have lifetime mental/emotional problems over this

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Asked by chriskris at 7:05 PM on Sep. 16, 2011 in Kids' Health

Level 9 (285 Credits)
Answers (8)
  • I really am not sure how to explain it. Talk to her doctor or a child grief counselor. I would NOT say he is in Heaven because he did something wrong. Until she is older, try "daddy is in Heaven watching over you and making sure you are safe. He loved you very much." Once she gets older and can understand more, then explain what happened. I am sorry for your loss.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 7:21 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • I am so sorry. Explain it in the simplest terms that you can...........that sometimes sad things like this happen to people. Children can often feel they are responsible for things like when their parents divorce, etc. Make sure she knows he did not misbehave and he did not die because he was misbehaving (terms a child relates to). Reassure her that she is always loved no matter what. You may want to consider talking to a counselor for some guidance or looking at some books on explaining death to children. You could browse through some at a good book store. hug

    Answer by whitepeppers at 7:22 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • i dnt tell her anything, all i say is i really dnt know what happened, she comes up witht the rest just thinking & thinking & trying to come up with answers. thanx tho, a doctor sounds like a good idea

    Comment by chriskris (original poster) at 7:25 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • wow you just made me tear up :'( im soo sorry my big sister's fiancee died may 28th 2008 well they were together 4 yrs and he died in an accident...three months later she found out she was prego with a little boy :) her sons name is zachary thomas B. II after his daddy and now the little boy is 2 1/2 or three

    Answer by boo_01 at 7:28 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • its her dead fiancees child fyi

    Answer by boo_01 at 7:34 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • Your answer must be dependent upon the maturity level of your four (4) year old. This is something only you can address. Remember children a much more resilient than we know. Help your child undertsnad that life is a cycle of transformation... water evaporiates into mist with the cloude and then returns to earth as rain... but we can freeze that same water and it becomes hard and useful for coolong drinks... such is life and while her father is no longer in what we recognize as a "physical" body he has taken a diffferent form called "spirit.. when you tell her the good things about her father it makes her happy and smile... tell her that is the happy spirit of her father being revealed through your voice...Tell her that God loves us and always does what is best for us... even when we do not understand... just as you tell her no about some things and she does not understand... it's because you are much wiser than she

    Answer by jackie111785 at 7:43 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • her dad & i were together for 4 yrs too frm when i was 15, im 23 now. thanx, i love how u just explained all that :) my daughter is a smart kid, she amazes me, she's smarter than other kids even older than her so it's hard to try to fool her

    Comment by chriskris (original poster) at 9:08 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

  • I just completed a psychology course and this was one of the issues we discussed. It is best to be honest with the child. They will be much older before the true concept of death is understood, but honesty is the best bet. I would refrain from comments like "God took him to a better place" because then "GOD" becomes the bad guy. Just say that sometimes people die and when they die they dont come back. After they die they go to heaven (or whatever you believe) good luck.

    Answer by Bennett121 at 10:32 PM on Sep. 16, 2011

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