How do I tell my child that his grandmother has passed away? How am I supposed to break the news to my kids of their father’s death? How should I introduce the concept of death in a simple way to my children?
We receive many similar questions from mothers who lost someone dear to them who have to break the news to their children. It’s not only a difficult topic to talk about, but it’s also very important to be done the right way to prevent it from becoming an emotional trauma.
When it comes to death, it isn’t an easy topic to comprehend or discuss with children. Here are a few tips from our positive parenting expert, Rana Hany, to help children understand what death is and introduce the concept to them:
How do I discuss the concept of death with my child? And how do I inform them of the death of a close person or relative?
- In similar topics, it is important to tell your kids the truth. Explain that our lives are temporary and that when it comes to an end, everyone dies at their own time. But under any circumstances, try to avoid telling them that the person is just resting or sleeping to prevent them from being afraid of sleep.
- Avoid mentioning anything about graves or give details that will link the concept of death to fear. Death is a part of our lives and they shouldn’t be afraid of it.
- The person who will be breaking the news of someone’s death needs to be strong and not break down in front of the kids. The tone of voice they use should also be calm, soothing and affectionate.
- Listen to them and comfort them. Allowing them to express their emotions and grieve is vital to overcome the trauma.
What to tell a child when informing them of someone’s death?
- Before talking about death, you should first talk about God and heaven in a simple and beautiful manner that they can comprehend and talk about the bliss and the indulges existing in heaven. You should also explain how much God loves us and not only gives us a lot of blessings in life but has also prepared even more amazing indulgences in a beautiful place called heaven.
- It is also important to explain the impact of a person’s death on their life if they lost someone they saw on a regular basis.
- Explain that it’s okay to miss them, but knowing that they’re in a better place will help reassure them.
- Encourage your child to express his/her emotions instead of bottling it up. Explain that it’s okay to be upset or grieve. This can even be done in a fun and productive way such as drawing dedicated artwork to the deceased or even collecting photos with their lost loved one and making an album.
While it is expected that a child’s behavior will be affected after the loss of a loved one, it is recommended that if their actions are still affected after six months to seek professional help.