Talking to children about death can be an extremely difficult task as a parent or guardian. If the child is young, it can be hard to articulate what has happened in a way that they understand. If the child is older, you are going to want to ensure that you discuss the topic in a way that is the least traumatic, whilst still being transparent and honest with them.
Loving Ashes are sharing some tips that will help you talk to your child about death in a way that they understand. When explaining this complicated aspect of life, there are a few things to remember when talking to a child.
If someone close to you or your family has passed away, it is extremely important that you tell your children as soon as possible, especially if you are visibly upset. By telling them the truth, you are giving them an explanation for your upset and not leaving them to wonder why everyone in the house is upset. Whilst they may be upset to learn of the passing of a loved one, it will be a better decision, for their psychological wellbeing, to tell them immediately.
Most children tend to be overwhelmed when they learn someone close to them has passed away, which is why you need to determine how much information to share. It is your responsibility as a parent to determine how much information your child can handle and how much you feel comfortable sharing. As previously mentioned, you will be able to talk to your child at a later stage, once the initial shock has worn off, so don’t feel the pressure to give them all the information at once.
This will most likely be your child’s traumatic experience, especially if the death you are mourning was unexpectedly tragic. Sit down with your child and explain to them the purpose of a funeral/memorial and what will happen. It is especially important that you prepare them for the open casket; explain that the body has been posed and dressed, as well as why. Prepare them for the large crowd of people that will be there, explain how they may be feeling and give a detailed description of how the venue will look. This will help a child feel more in control of their surroundings, as they are not overwhelmed and confused. If you are expected to be upset at the service, find someone that your child trusts to care for them whilst you grieve or speak to guests.
This part needs to be conducted with the utmost care, as this is when you will be preparing your child for the reality that their loved one isn’t coming back. Encourage them to talk about their feelings often and ask questions. Make sure that they understand that their loved one is not coming; you may want to stress the idea that they are now their guardian angel and watching over them all the time. Most importantly as a parent, you need to set an example by taking care of yourself and showing your children how to move forward.
Help your children remember their lost loved one by having a decorative glass orb made in their memory, Have your little ones help choose the shape and colours for the orb and explain to them that it will remind them of their loved one. Contact us today for a quote.