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Should a 3 Year Old Attend a Funeral?

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Question: Woud you let him go?




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, 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 (41-50):
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 6:26 AM
2 moms liked this
No, there's no reason for him to go, he didn't even meet the person before....
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 6:55 AM

I will not take my child to any funerals.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:04 AM
1 mom liked this

In your situation, no I wouldn't let him go. He doesn't even know the person. Never met them. 

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:09 AM

around here its perfectly normal to bring a child to a funeral but i think it would depend on if its open cascett or not and how they are related to the desceased......there is no point in your son going when he has never even met the person

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:17 AM

Personally, I wouldn't but it's up to the parent in charge. Do you have a court order? If you do then it's up to the parent who's time it is. If it's on your time, it's up to you, if it's on his time, he can take him if he wants.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:20 AM
3 moms liked this

When my son was 4 years old my brother was murdered. I consulted two child psychologists if my son should see my brother during the visitation (viewing) and attend the funeral. I was afraid to traumatize him psychologically or emotionally.

To my surprise they BOTH encouraged him being present.

They indicated that not only should my son be allowed to grieve along with the rest of the family and say bye to his beloved uncle but comprehend that death is a part of life.

In addition I was given literature on how to speak to my son about death (never say the deceased are sleeping or resting - one example) as well as books to read to him to understand death and violence. Books that were age appropriate and easy for him to understand without over informing him.

In the end it is your decision.




by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:31 AM
1 mom liked this

I'm with you mom.....a funeral can be a scary thing for a young person.  All of those flowers, open casket and people whispering and crying everywhere.....then to expect to sit still and behave in a strange church???  Sounds like the family is looking to your son to distract them...or maybe they want to show off the cute little guy???  

If you're looking to compromise, maybe offer to bring him to the wake/luncheon afterwards....then all of the relatives can see him, and he can gorge himself on 'funeral food' and cookies.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:40 AM
1 mom liked this
My father passed away last thanksgiving and my daughter had just turned three. I didn't take her because she was very close with him and I was afraid it would upset her. She saw him in the hospital before he died and it seemed to upset her a little because she wasn't used to seeing him like that. I understand people who take young children to funerals but I think in most situations it's best not to. Only because as was in my case everyone was very upset and that would've been upsetting to her. Do what you think is best.
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:53 AM
1 mom liked this

I've taken both my kids to a few funerals. I think it's important that they see death and view it as normal and know that it does happen and it's okay to be sad when it does. I was held back from them as a child, but I also never really knew anyone close to me that passed. My first wake was when I was 17 and I wish it was sooner. It was much harder to watch someone as a teen then it would have been had I grown up with someone telling me.

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 8:01 AM
2 moms liked this

I'd let him go. 

I grew up in a famly, where, if you were family, you went. Period. If you were an adult, it was your choice (I do have one family member who does not attend funerals because she can't handle it), but as a child, you went. 

My mom always made sure I had a black dress that fit me, and my brothers wore black dress pants and a nice shirt (darkest they had). We went out of respect for the deceased, and for the living. We may not have known the deceased (like my Aunt Betty), but my mom did. We, as children, still respected the family enough to be there and to mourn with the family.

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