Tips for Explaining Death to Children

By: Greg Hurd
Tuesday, July 4, 2017

It’s not easy to explain the concept of death to children and many parents dread the thought of doing so. Most assume that children will eventually learn on their own without parental advice. Many parents are confronted with this unpleasant task when there’s a death in the family and they need to explain it to their child. Here are some tips that can help:

1. Always be Honest

It’s tempting to gloss over the concept of death but that can hamper the child’s understanding of the concept and cause problems down the line. Take time to explain what happened carefully and encourage questions. Try to be as honest and open as you can be without scaring your children.

2. Utilize Easy Opportunities to Familiarize Children with the Concept of Death

Children are exposed to death in various forms and that can be a good opportunity to familiarize them with the concept. For example, the death of a pet, a tree, a flower, etc, can be a good way to explain the concept to your child. They’re likely not emotionally connected to these entities and will have an easier time understanding the concept.

3. Stick to Basic Terms for Children Under 5 or 6

Children under 5 or 6 don’t understand vague and philosophical concepts so it’s a good idea to stick with the basics and focus on the practical aspects of death. Parents can tell the child that the deceased person has stopped speaking; breathing, eating, and the child will no longer be able to see them.

4. Avoid Vague Terms

Avoid giving the child the illusion that death is temporary as that will only hurt them in the long run. Don’t describe death as “going to sleep” or “going away”, etc, as that can hamper the child’s understanding of the concept.

5. Books that help explain Death to a Child

  • What's Heaven - by Maria Shriver - Website
  • More books available through this blog

If you want to know more about funeral services and other details, don’t hesitate to call us at Weber-Hurd Funeral Home. We’ll be happy to help. 

Leave a comment
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image.


Please wait

Previous Posts

Different Ways to Personalize an Obituary

Preparing an obituary for a loved one that has passed away can be difficult. It’s not an easy task to create something personal which fits into a small paragraph. It doesn’t serve justice to the de...

Steps Involved in the Funeral and Final Disposition Planning Process

Planning a funeral is an extremely overwhelming and stressful task. It is something one cannot prepare for, and can be a difficult process to handle. The better prepared you are, the easier the tas...

Memorial Service Ideas for Families Who Choose Cremation

Cremation has become a very common choice in the recent years, with many individuals choosing this option during their funeral pre-planning process. Cremation reduces the body to ashes, but that do...

Techniques for Handling Challenging Anniversaries after a Death

Anniversaries are special occasions, a time of celebration and togetherness. People express joy over the milestones their relationship has crossed, reminding themselves not to take things for grant...

The Advantages of Working with a Family Owned Funeral Home

If you are looking for a good funeral home, you will find there are a large number of establishments to choose from, providing very similar services. While it’s good to have a wider choice, this ca...

What is a Funeral Celebrant?

Celebrating a loved family member’s life is a very important event; what you need to keep in mind is that you have just one opportunity to do this well. While the funeral director can handle all as...

Understanding Funeral Pricing

Understanding funeral billing can be challenging for most people and many may also be arranging a service for the first time, making the task even more confusing for them. The only way you can make...

The Crucial Role of a Funeral Director in the Funeral Process`

Planning a funeral isn’t easy, especially if you have never gone through the process before. It is a challenging task during a very stressful period of your life. That’s where a funeral director co...

Pre-Planning: The Time is Now

Many people have started to consider pre-planning their funeral instead of letting their loved ones bear the responsibility. This might seem intimidating, but it’s easy to arrange. Most funeral hom...

The Importance of Writing a Eulogy

A eulogy is a final goodbye, it is an expression of grief and gratefulness, and a way to honor the decedent’s memory. It’s not easy to write or speak about a deceased loved one, especially when you...