How To Talk To Your Child About Death

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When your family has experienced a loss, it can be a difficult concept for young children to process. The Onion breaks down the best ways to converse with your child about the realities of death:

  • Loss and grief are very abstract concepts for a young person to grasp, so try reframing them in the concrete terms of your own inevitable death.
  • Demystify death by inviting your child to assist in the embalming process.
  • Remember, it’s okay not to have all the answers, but it’s never okay to let on to your kids that you don’t.
  • Be ready to console your crying child by giving them a hug, promising them a treat, or claiming that Heaven exists.
  • Buy a goldfish; wait.
  • Instead of focusing on the hopelessness of death, focus on the hopelessness of life.
  • As a nice palate cleanser, turn the discussion to all the fun items your child will get to take from Grandma’s house.
  • If there is still any lingering confusion or fear at the end of the conversation, you can always wink and tell them you were kidding.