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.