4 Tips for Explaining Death to a Child

By: David Tindall
Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Children are smarter than most people assume. They have the ability to understand complex concepts and show a surprising amount of empathy towards others. At Tindall Funeral Home, we know that adults struggle to explain the concept of death to children so here are some tips that can help you:

1. Always Be Straightforward

Many adults try to gloss over the concept of death by using vague terms and phrases. Things like ‘gone to heaven’ or ‘in a better place’ won’t make much sense to a child, which is why it is important to be as straightforward as you can be without emotionally harming the child. Explain how all kinds come to an end and death is a natural end to life. Tell them how it is a permanent state that no one can come back from.

2. Keep the Child’s Age in Mind

Older children are more capable of understanding the concept of death than pre-teens. When you prepare for this conversation, keep your child’s age in mind. You can start by asking them what they know or understand about death. This gives you the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings and help them deal with the loss.

3. Answer their Questions

Children will ask questions after you finish explaining the concept to them. Don’t shut them down, even if you don’t feel like continuing the conversation. Encourage communication and answer those questions as clearly as possible. That will help with the child’s development and have a positive impact on their mental health.

4. Try to Explain When They’re Not Personally Connected to the Deceased

When a child loses someone they are personally connected to like a friend, relative, or parent, they will struggle to understand or accept death. It is better to explain this concept to them when there are no personal feelings involved as when a celebrity or well-known individual dies.

Contact us at Tindall Funeral Home through our online form or call (315) 468-5521 if you want to know about our services and need advice.

 

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