Children 2 to 7 years old think that death is a reversible sleep-like state and for those who are 7 to 11 years old, they know that death is permanent and become anxious about it.
So, what do you do when there is a death in the family? Consider your child’s age, understanding of death and their temperament when thinking about their participation in services.
Bad dreams, fearfulness and regression to younger stages may result if they see or hear too much. Develop some sense of what you hope happens after death. Jonathan will follow your lead if you present your feelings about it with confidence.
Typically, a child’s first experience is with the death of a pet. Of course, it’s easier to explain Rover’s death than to explain grandpa’s, so focus on doing something positive to honor grandpa or Rover. Offer options such as a charitable act or a fun event to remember the good times.
This is one of the most challenging conversations you will face as a parent. After all, none of us knows exactly what happens and how. This is actually a positive since we can present the best picture and no one can dispute it!
Do the best you can, Claudia
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