Children to understand death
- How does a child understand death?
- How to explain death to a child?
- How will you answer a child’s questions about death
Death is rarely an easy subject to understand death for children. However, it is essential to talk about it because it is part of life. How to do it? If your child is grieving.
How does a child understand death?
It is usually around the age of 3 or 4 that questions about death appear. The child seeks to understand the world. He asks questions based on what he sees and what he experiences (e.g., “Why is the bird on the lawn no longer moving?” or “Why is our cat dead?”). Before age 5, the child has a limited understanding of death.
Even though he knows that the deceased person’s heart has stopped beating and that he cannot hear or speak, the toddler has difficulty understanding that death is permanent. He believes death is temporary and that the person who died will return. He also doesn’t realize that everyone will die one day. He thinks only older adults can die.
As his thinking develops between 5 and 7 years old, the child understand death better than everyone can die forever. At the age of 9, he understands that death is universal, irreversible, permanent, and inseparable from the cycle of life. If you want to read about coloring pages cat click here.
How to explain death to a child?
It is good to talk about death before a death occurs in your surroundings because you can talk about it with less emotion. You will not have to wait for your child to ask you about it.
Be concrete when discussing death with your child and use simple words.
A simple way to broach the subject with your toddler is to start from the life cycle in nature. For example, from 2 or 3 years old, make him observe that the buds arrive in the spring, that the leaves grow in size during the summer, and that they wither, die, and fall in the fall. You can give him other examples that won’t worry him (e.g., insects, flowers, birds, fish) to show him that every living thing has a life cycle. Explain to him that it’s the same for humans.
You can also tell him that sometimes living things get so seriously ill or suffer so much that they can’t stay alive. However, emphasize that people and animals can often recover from illness and live to an ancient age.
To help your toddler understand death, and the permanence of death, tell him that when someone dies, it’s forever, and they’re not coming back. To reassure him, tell him that it is possible to think of the good times spent with the deceased person and that it is good.
When discussing death with your child, approach the subject with tact and sensitivity. Be as open and candid as possible and let your child lead the conversation. Encourage him to speak up and ask questions. Just answer it as best you can. It’s good not to hide from him that you don’t know everything and that some things are difficult to understand, even for adults.
Words to avoid when talking about death
Don’t hide reality from your child. Avoid using expressions such as “falling asleep,” “going away,” “going away,” or “living in heaven” to explain death. If you tell your child that Grandpa is “asleep,” your toddler may be afraid to go to bed for fear of dying too. Same thing if you tell her Grandma “went away” on a long trip or that she “lives in heaven.” Your child will be waiting for his return, he will be anxious when a loved one leaves on a trip, or he will entertain the hope of seeing his grandmother again in the sky during a plane trip.
Likewise, if an illness is the cause of death, tell your child in simple words: “Grandma had cancer. It is a severe disease. Sometimes some people recover, but not always. Don’t just tell him that his grandmother died because she was very ill. After all, he might think she had a simple cold. He could then fear that he, too, would die if he fell ill. He may also be afraid that you will die if you are sick. Also, reassure him by explaining that death is not contagious.
Why do we die?
“In general, we die because we get old. Over time, the body is so worn out that it can no longer function. It’s the cycle of life: you are born, you grow up, you become an adult, you get older, and you die. Sometimes we die before we are old because we have an illness that cannot cure or because we have a serious accident. »
Do we know when we are going to die?
“No, nobody knows when he will die. In general, we die when we are very old. It can happen before if you have a severe illness or accident. »
What happens when we die?
“Our heart stops beating, and our body no longer works. There is no more life in our bodies. It means that we no longer breathe, our blood no longer circulates, and our brain no longer works. We no longer feel anything. »
Where do we go when we’re dead?
“We put the body in a coffin. Usually, family and friends gather to say goodbye to the body, and then it is buried. On the earth, the body gradually disappears. You can also burn the body and keep the ashes in a special container called an urn. Afterward, the body of the dead person is no longer there. However, it can still be remembered, for example, by looking at photos. » You can also share your religious beliefs by telling your child that not everyone believes the same thing.
Are you going to die?
“Yes, I’m going to die one day. Everyone dies; it’s part of life. I hope it will be for a long time. I will surely be very old. And you too will be old. For now, I’m fine here, fit and healthy.