Death of a loved one is a part of life that everyone will have to experience as some point. Unfortunately, some instances can be more tragic than others and can even come at an unexpected time. Just as adults grieve the loss of a loved one, so do children.
This is why it is important that parents and caregivers learn how to talk to their children about death. Here are a couple things you should do:
1. Tell The Truth
Although it may seem cruel, it is better to tell the child the truth early on, rather than try to sugar coat it. For instance, avoid telling the child that the person "went to sleep" or that they "went away." These kinds of phrases only cause confusion and could harm the child in the future. This is why you should let the child know that the person as passed away or died. You might need to explain that dying is when the body stops working and that you will no longer see the person.
2. Provide Hope
Many children and adults find peace and relief in religion or other beliefs. If you have beliefs about death and life after death, this is a good time to share it with the child. You can explain to them what you think happens to the soul after the body dies and provide hope for the child.
However, it is still important that the child understand that death means that there is a separation from the person and that even though they may see the individual in the after-life, at this current point they cannot see them.
3. Let The Child Grieve
It is important that you don't take away the chance to grieve and feel emotion after the death of a loved one. You may want to protect the child's feelings so you tell them not to cry, that everything is okay, or that they have to be strong. Although these phrases might be said to try and help the child, it is important that the child learn to deal with their sadness and grief.
They should be free to cry. In fact, if needed, let the child cry for a long period of time. You can hold them, let them have time alone, or take them to a special spot and let them work out their emotions.
By doing these things you can help your child deal with the death of a loved one. Contact a company such as Living Hope Clinic to learn more.