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How to Talk to Kids about Death | Child Anxiety



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today I'm going to talk to you about how

to talk to your kids about deaf I know

it's a very scary topic for adults and

certainly it is for children but I think

what you need to do is approach it like

any topic that you need to give your

child information and help them with the

first thing you want to think about when

you want to talk to your child about

death certainly is their age that their

age dictates what they can understand

and that means that a very young child

doesn't understand the concept of God

forever never coming back and by that we

mean you know certainly an infant

toddler even a preschooler when you get

to the school-age child they begin to

understand that the person isn't coming

back and certainly by age 8 9 10 they

understand that the person won't come

back that it could happen to anyone it

could happen at any time and it means

that your body doesn't work anymore so

they may have more fears but they also

may have a lot more questions in

curiosity about what happened and some

of the details and then with teenagers

they're thinking much more about the

reality and again the rest of their life

and what that might mean about

themselves in the mortality and may have

much more abstract ways that they're

thinking about it now in general if the

death was someone that was important and

close to that child then you really want

to look at their reactions

now the reactions can vary quite a bit

from

feeling distress and upset and possibly

reacting to just the change in the

environment if they're very young

children to older children they may

worry more about themselves about other

people and something bad happening to

them or getting hurt and teenagers

really worrying about the future and

what would happen again to other people

and is it safe now

when you talk to kids about death so you

want to understand their age and what

they can understand and then when you

actually sit down and talk to them you

want to use the real language use the

appropriate words but use them in a way

that fits the child's age but you can

use the word died or sick for a very

young child you might go into more

detail with a ten-year-old or certainly

with a 16 year old but the more the real

information is there then the less

they're going to rely on their

imagination the more you keep something

a secret the more they think it's

something scary

so the best thing you can do is get it

out there in the open let them know

you're there for the true answers that

they can trust you at a time when they

may feel like their world is not so safe

anymore

and that when they have questions they

know who to go to now also remember that

it's not just one conversation when

something big happens in a child's life

you may tell them and you may give them

some information they may have questions

listen to their questions don't think

about what your questions are don't

assume what your children are thinking

about ask them listen watch their

behavior to understand more about how

they're reacting and adjusting to any

kind of significant death and then go in

with more information and then make sure

to not only give information about what

happened but also talk about feelings

and how to cope with those feelings so

that everybody has a way to

deal with what's in their head about

thoughts as well as what's in their

heart about whatever they're feeling and

whoever that special person was