Death is a natural part of life. It is something that we all have to face at some point in our life. Unfortunately, the world has been attacked by terrorists and no one has been protected from the pain and suffering. Even our children have begun to take notice. They have questions. They see the things on the news and they get curious. So how do you answer these questions? What do you say to your children about death?
You need to take into consideration how old your child is. A young child will be more curious about the word means. While an older child will want to know what happens to a person when they die. You do not want to go into too much detail because it will just confuse the child. Too little will leave them yearning for me. The biggest thing to remember is that if you don’t answer the questions then they will look elsewhere, and they may not learn what you want to teach them.
Follow your child’s lead
Listen to what your child is saying and then answer. Then give them a chance to absorb it. For example: Your child asks what is death. The best way to respond is to say something simple like: Death is when people’s lives are over. Then you need to just sit and wait for their response. That right there may be enough to satisfy them.
Listen to Your Instincts
You know your child and you understand why they are asking. The reason behind why they want to know is just as important as what you tell them. If they have just lost a loved one in their life they are probably trying to understand that they are gone. So really go with your gut and it will help you and your child to make sense of the loss.
Honesty is always the best policy. If you don’t know, then tell them you don’t know. You can always say something like “I don’t know what happens to a person when they die because I haven’t experienced it, but I believe (insert your beliefs)” Or “I don’t know why people choose to hurt others, but we should always try to be nice to everyone around us” By being honest you leave the door open for communication later on down the road.
Death is not an easy topic for any of us, but it is something that we have to talk about with our children. This is especially true if we recently lost a family member. Ignoring the situation will only hurt them. We never want to dismiss our children’s feelings.