Whether you’re talking about a pet or loved one, death is never an easy subject for anyone to talk about. Those who are of age understand that it is a normal part of life, one in which we will all face, but for children, the experience can be both jarring and confusing. If your child is dealing with the death of someone that they loved, here are some ways that you can comfort them.
Talk about Death with Them
As much as you may want to avoid the subject, if a child asks about death, engage them in the conversation as much as possible. Try to avoid telling them to not be sad, or that they should control their feelings; they need to understand that it’s ok to be attached to people and to be sad when they’re gone. Be honest about what happened, use simple language that they can understand, encourage them to ask questions they may have, and let them know that it wasn’t their fault. If you allow a child to tell their side of the story, you can guide them through it and help clear up any misunderstandings they may have.
Talk with a Probate Lawyer
Children will generally be very confused about death. Not only what causes it, but also how to move past it. They may have questions about the funeral, what’s going to happen to the things that person owned, and others, so it’s important to have answers. Professionals, like those at Leon J. Teichner & Associates, P.C., know that talking with someone who specializes in handling these matters, such as a probate lawyer, can help answer questions you and your child may have.
Keep the Memories Alive
Death is a loss, but children need to understand that it doesn’t need to be the end of the memories with their loved one. Letting them hold onto something that belonged to their loved one, keeping a scrapbook, or sharing stories. Activities like these will help keep memories for the child alive.
Encourage Them to Move On
But only when they’re ready. Like adults, children may take days, weeks, or even months to move through the grieving process, but when they are ready to return back to normal, encourage them as much as possible. Tell their teachers what has happened so they can make arrangements, and ease them back into their routine a little at a time, maybe even only for a few hours.
Death is an awful event for anyone to have to experience, and is even more so for children. By helping them through the situation, however, you have the ability to help them understand this fact of life, and prepare them for their own life ahead.