How to Talk to Children About the Concept of Death

By: Greg Hurd
Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Talking to children about death can be a difficult conversation to pursue and you may find yourself holding back, using only minor details and descriptions. Children are fragile and death is a sensitive topic to discuss and should not be contemplated lightly.


Although we try our hardest as parents to spare our children from any pain, this conversation is one that we must think through and explain to our children openly. This not only makes the grieving process easier for yourself but for the children as well. As they grow older they will look back and reflect on the many things you taught them and be stronger because of it.


As you prepare yourself for a discussion about the concept of death with your children it is important to consider different factors for how will you move forward.


Firstly, depending on the age of the child, they will process information differently. If you have two children that are fairly far apart in age it may be best to have the conversation separately. Start slowly and allow them to understand what you are telling them. They will develop their own perspective on death. Try asking them questions and get them involved in the conversation at any points that may confuse them. Also, if you do not have the answer to a question your child is asking you, be honest. Try asking them what they think instead.


Another point to consider is how emotional they become. It is important that you are open and honest with your child and allow yourself to be vulnerable. Don’t hide your emotions. Express how you are feeling and why you are feeling the way you are. This allows your child to comprehend that is it okay to show their feelings and be sad at the appropriate times, such as a death in the family. It is a natural part of the healing process.


Lastly, be patient with your children. This conversation can be an overwhelming one and they may act out because of it. Children tend to behave the way they are feeling inside. If they are confused, sad or angry at the situation their behaviour may reflect those feelings. Simply answer any questions they have to the best of your ability and let them know that you are here for them.


If you have any other questions on this topic or would like to speak to our professionals here at, Hurd Family Funeral Homes, you can contact us here.

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