Talking to children about death and dying is not an easy subject, however often necessary. The thought of sharing heartbreaking news feels like more than you can bear. Your instinct may be to shelter the child to make it less painful, but the truth is, there is no easy way to share sad news. However, there are ways to support children with compassion and honesty. It is important when being honest to use age appropriate details. Children can sense when people are not being honest with them. Take the time to explain the details of what is happening to their loved one in a way that they will understand. Use real words like dying and death or his body stopped working, to help kids understand the permanence of the situation. Let the child’s questions help to guide you in the conversation. There are also activities that you can do with your child to help remember and understand the dying process. Activities include:
Lastly, let kids see you grieve. By expressing your own emotions in an appropriate way, children will learn how to grieve and know that it is okay to be feeling what they are feeling. If you ever need further support for you or your child, reach out to Tu Nidito. We are here to support these difficult conversations.
Written by: Lisa Robinson, Grants and Development Manager
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