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Should a 3 Year Old Attend a Funeral?

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Question: Woud you let him go?

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Only If I Went With Him


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So...a while ago, my ex TOLD me that he was taking my son to a funeral.  I told him I didn't think appropriate...the argument was cut short when I found out that the woman (his paternal grandmother) hadn't even died yet!!!  This was two months ago.

Well...she died Friday.  The funeral is Saturday.

Since my last argument with my ex and his new gf (an escort) in early September, I havent heard from either of them about the funearl again.

Well my ex mother in law called me last night.  Not knowing any better, I answer the phone.  She proceeds to tell me that she wants to take Devyn to the funeral on Saturday and asked if I can meet her in Orageburg on Friday.

For the first time in my life, I didn't beat around the bush.  I flat out said...no, I don't think its appropriate for a 3 year old to go to a funeral.  She gets quiet and tells me that she doesn't see a problem with him going and that I am welcome to come if I fear for his safety....clearly she isn't getting it so I ask her if Devyn has ever met the deceased...she says no...I say so...don't you think its strange to take a 3 year old to a funeral for someone he has never met?  She spends another two minutes or so justifying it and then tells me to think about it.

I have a pretty decent relationship with her.  I bring Devyn to her whenever she is in town and she does little things for him (sends him money a few times a year, buys him presents on Christmas and birthday) and I really hate to ruin the relationship but it also upsets me that she doesn't acknowledge that I as a mother am saying that I don't feel comfortable with it and she keeps pushing.

What would you guys do?

by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 9:39 AM
Replies (301-310):
kelliewhitney
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:13 PM

If they didn't know the person, then no way.

My daughter went to a funeral when she was 3. It was for her beloved grandfather. The kids did not attend the viewing, though, and the funeral was closed-casket. They spent the duration of the viewing in the playroom at the funeral home with the funeral director's daughter as a babysitter. The funeral was on the other side of the country and we didn't know anyone who could babysit. It was hard on my kids to see so much sadness at the funeral, but they also got to hear wonderful things about my dad, and I think seeing other people cry helped them understand that it was OK to be upset. Also, the flag ceremony performed by the Honor Guard was very important for them to see.

angelofsaturn
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:25 PM
My daughter is a lil less than a month away from being 2 and I don't plan on taking her to any funerals.
My uncle died Sunday and his funeral is on Saturday but she's going to spend the day with her daddy(I have to work).
I mean she'd met him a couple of times but she hates sitting still and I don't think a funeral is an appropriate place for her to be plus there are a lot of relatives that will be there that she hasn't met before and she doesn't do well around people she doesn't know.
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HamsterandCow
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:53 PM
1 mom liked this
Funerals are for the LIVING to say goodbye, have closure, etc. I don't see how any of that will happen for such a small child. I realize this is a touchy and closely-divided issue but I am totally against it. While I agree with children learning empathy and sympathy, it is NOT the job of a small child to have the job of making adults feel better! Especially in your case where your child didn't even know the deceased, it is not right for the child to attend. All your child will end up being is a happy distraction for the adults, which is good for them but that environment is not good for a child. Of course just my opinion, but with experience both as a child and an adult going to funerals with children present.
Jenna44420
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:06 PM
1 mom liked this

Honestly...it sounds like you're being insecure and bitter.  Like the fact that you had to mention in your post that your ex's current girlfriend is an escort.

It's not hurting you any to let your son go and I think his father just wants him to be apart of his family and be present at certain important family events (just like a wedding...a funeral counts).

It's hard to co-parent (to say the least) but you're gonna have to find a way to be cordial with your ex for the sake of your son.

Lindsey1126
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:26 PM
They shouldn't argue with you about it if He never even met her.I would go with him if you decide to let him go because it's no tellin what his escort girlfriend might be like.
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aj_mom
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:35 PM

My son had gone to 2 funerals by the time he was 2 1/2. So I don't see a problem with a child going to a funeral. I was at funerals even younger than that. 

However as a mom it is your decision. So you need to do whatever you feel is right for your situation.

FindersKeepers
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 4:16 PM

A 3 year old doesn't have the ablity to comprehend what is happening at a funeral.   Sticking them in a fancy out fit and making them walk alone down a church isle as a ring barer or flower girl is more traumatizing to a child than having them sit with someone in a church or outside at a funeral.  

I would not take a child to a viewing, but to a funeral would be the same as any other church event or holiday to a 3 yo.   There is normally food and socializing after the services... which honestly is good to have kids at.   They cycle faster and bring laughter and playfulness to the day. 

Quoting specialwingz:

No...it's STRANGE to ask to take a 3 year old to a funeral at all.  There is NO GOOD reason why this child should have to go at all.

Quoting FindersKeepers:

The child's father and his family want to take the 3yr old to a funeral... it is not a stranger asking.

Quoting specialwingz:

I think it's more about someone asking to take the 3 year old to a funeral.  It's not like his mom is going to a funeral of a close family member and not sure about taking the child.  It's someone ASKING her to take HER child to a funeral.  I find that odd and highly inappropriate.

Quoting boeks:

I took my son to at least two funerals befor he was 5. He was very good for me. I think young children understand better what's going on and respond well. I've seen several small children at funerals and they seem to be more concerned with making people feel better then causing trouble.


 



specialwingz
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 4:39 PM
1 mom liked this

The point isn't about whether or not the child will be traumatized.  I never said they would.  The point is...the child doesn't HAVE to be at the funeral.  It's for a great grandmother than never even met the child.  The child's parents are divorced.  The child lives with its mother.  So, it's not like there is no choice but to take the child to the funeral.  I just don't get why some of you seem to think this child SHOULD be or NEEDS to be at this funeral!

Quoting FindersKeepers:

A 3 year old doesn't have the ablity to comprehend what is happening at a funeral.   Sticking them in a fancy out fit and making them walk alone down a church isle as a ring barer or flower girl is more traumatizing to a child than having them sit with someone in a church or outside at a funeral.  

I would not take a child to a viewing, but to a funeral would be the same as any other church event or holiday to a 3 yo.   There is normally food and socializing after the services... which honestly is good to have kids at.   They cycle faster and bring laughter and playfulness to the day. 

Quoting specialwingz:

No...it's STRANGE to ask to take a 3 year old to a funeral at all.  There is NO GOOD reason why this child should have to go at all.

Quoting FindersKeepers:

The child's father and his family want to take the 3yr old to a funeral... it is not a stranger asking.

Quoting specialwingz:

I think it's more about someone asking to take the 3 year old to a funeral.  It's not like his mom is going to a funeral of a close family member and not sure about taking the child.  It's someone ASKING her to take HER child to a funeral.  I find that odd and highly inappropriate.

Quoting boeks:

I took my son to at least two funerals befor he was 5. He was very good for me. I think young children understand better what's going on and respond well. I've seen several small children at funerals and they seem to be more concerned with making people feel better then causing trouble.






MsLogansMommy
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 4:54 PM
1 mom liked this

This is exactly my thoughts about it

Quoting RLT2:

I wouldn't let him go to the funeral. I would however let him go to the "luncheon" afterwards.  Probably, what she really wants, is to introduce him to family members/friends that have never seen him, or haven't seen him in a while.


JCakebread
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Under the circumstances, I do not think it's appropriate. My youngest brother was 3 when his dad (my step-dad) passed away and he was at the funeral, but obviously that was competely different. I do not think it's appropriate especially if you as the custodial guardian doesn't agree with it. Stand your ground.

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