Discussing death is never a fun or easy subject to tackle. So, when it comes to broaching the subject with children, it is only natural that we’d feel confused or uncomfortable. After all, it’s completely normal to want to shelter children from things that could be potentially scary or hurtful. However, as death is a normal part of life that everyone will have to encounter in one way or another, these conversations become necessary. Read on to learn how you should approach speaking to a child after they have lost someone in their life. Our funeral homes in Gallatin, TN are always open and ready to work with you and your family. If you’d like to know more, then feel free to give us a call or stop by for a visit!
Things to Avoid
Acting Like Things are Normal
A common mistake that we see many parents make when trying to comfort their grieving child is to ignore things and act as though everything is normal. Truthfully, this is one of the most harmful approaches that parents can take with their child as there is absolutely nothing commonplace about dealing with grief and all of the difficult emotions that come along with it. Grief is complex and is never the same for two people, so recognizing that your child is having a real and deep experience is the first step in being able to properly support them through their grief journey. We suggest tackling the issue head-on by asking them questions, staying involved, showing support, and making it known that you are always available to answer any and all questions they may have. While they may not want to open up immediately, by you leaving that option on the table you effectively create an opening for them to be vulnerable whenever they so wish.
Not Talking About Hard Subjects
It is completely normal to want to avoid bringing up topics that could make your child sad or upset, yet when it comes to handling their grief, this is absolutely vital. Instead of sweeping the death conversation under the rug, like so many parents are guilty of doing, we suggest being open and comfortable about it in front of your child. Remember, death is just another natural part of life, and something that we will all experience, so it’s best to look at it as a learning experience rather than something traumatic and taboo. If you are still hesitant to broach the subject, simply ask yourself whether or not you’d feel better if your child were to learn about death and dying from people outside of your house rather than from you yourself. Chances are more than likely that you’d prefer that conversation to be had with someone they trust, like yourself. You never know, this conversation may just bring you and your child that much closer together!
Not Allowing Emotions
Another huge mistake made by some parents is avoiding emotions. Showing our emotions is how we cope as human beings, so it’s necessary that you assure your child that expressing themselves however they so choose with their emotions is absolutely okay and valid. This means that if you feel inclined to cry due to the loss in your life then you should feel free to do so. This will show your child that crying is a healthy way to cope with difficult feelings in life.
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