Explaining Death to Children: What Not to Do

By: Matthew Funeral Home
Monday, July 9, 2018


Death can be a difficult concept to explain to a child. When working with your child to help them understand the finality of death, there are a number of things to avoid, and how to go about the conversation. Most children will ask questions, which is alright. 

Don’t Hide Your Emotions

Death can be upsetting, for anyone. It is OK to show a child that you are hurt by the loss, and that pain is a part of that loss. You don’t have to hide the fact that you are crying because of your loss. You should let them express their emotions and be honest with how they feel. If they are uncomfortable with opening up to you, consider having them talk to a therapist.

Don’t Change Their Routine

A child’s routine can be vital to keeping them coping. Consistency is important for how the child’s life is structured. Big changes can throw them off completely. Try to keep them in as close to their normal routine as possible during grieving periods. 

Don’t Expect a Grieving Timeline

Grief happens differently for everyone. People will move through the stages of grief at different times, and everyone will react to grief in a number of ways. It is almost impossible to set up an accurate timeline; and it is unrealistic to expect them to stick to it. 

Don’t Be Afraid to Laugh

Laughter can be cathartic to people of all ages. Don’t be afraid to share stories of your loved one with them, and open up to them about good times with them. It can be the best solution to raise spirits after the funeral.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say “I Don’t Know”

Children often ask a lot of questions; especially “Why?” Death is a very complicated concept. As a parent, it may feel like walking on eggshells You should not be afraid to say that you don’t know. Try to be open and honest with your child about death when possible. 

For almost 50 years, Matthew Funeral Home has been serving the Staten Island community. We can help with almost every aspect of your loved one’s memorial service. Our family is here to serve yours, every step of the way.

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