Explain Grief to Children

Children are mostly unexperienced when it comes to handling difficult situations and emotions such as the reality of a loved one’s death and the concept of death.

Ways to Explain-
a)Create an environment where children feel safe asking questions related to death.

b)Avoid euphemisms that have “passed away” or “was lost”.

c)Don’t chastise the child for crying or displaying sadness and vulnerability phrases such as “suck it up” and “toughen up”, “you are the man/woman of the house now” and “be a big kid” can be very hurtful on a child’s outlook on death and emotional health.

d)“Everything that lives, one day dies. Death is the end of living. When someone dies, their body stops working; they don’t need to eat, drink, or breathe anymore. It is not like sleeping. Once someone dies, they are dead forever and cannot come back.” this explanation can be helpful.

e)• Give children the chance, when the death of a
loved one is imminent, to say goodbye in a way
that feels appropriate for them, or to just be with
the person with a shared knowing that their time
together (at least physically) is limited.

Learning about death and its realities is something
that all children must experience. Though difficult, as a parent or significant adult, you have a tremendous influence over how a child’s thoughts and feelings about death begin to form.
By keeping honesty as a focus of explanation
and allowing the child to openly express feelings and emotions, can lay the foundation for a child to develop a healthy relationship with the concepts of death and dying.