Tips for Explaining the Concept of Death to Children

By: Ian Elliott
Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Death is a part of life. However, for kids, it is harder to understand this concept. Depending upon the age of the child, you are going to have to explain this in a different way. Most child experts agree that by the age of 9 years old, most children can process death in their minds much similar to an adult.

However, for those children under the age of 6 years old, they often think death is temporary, as if the person has taken a long trip and will be back some day. So, how can you explain the concept of death to children? Here are a few tips that can help with this!

  • Be sure that you validate what your child is feeling. If they are crying, let them cry. There is nothing wrong with showcasing your sadness in this way. Making them hold this in is going to make it harder for the child to accept this death.
  • Try to avoid messing up the schedule of the child, as this can cause even more confusion. The more regular you keep the schedule, the better it will be.
  • Give them an idea of what the funeral is going to be like, so that they are prepared beforehand. Let them know that there may be people crying and it so okay to feel sad.
  • Consider purchasing books that are age appropriate about death, as these can help a child to better understand what is going on. -- check out this website

There are also a few things that you want to avoid doing. The biggest thing is making it seem like that person just went to sleep for a long time or that they are on a long trip. Why is this? Younger kids are going to become afraid to go to sleep or take a road trip as they may feel as though they will not come back.

We can offer our professional help here at Arbutus Funeral Service, as we have helped several families work through a death.

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