Talking to your Children about Death...

ignatius

OC.Net Guru
Joined
Oct 11, 2006
Messages
1,694
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Location
USA
Hi Everyone,

While my daughter and I where watching the moving Bridge to Terabithia she asked me about 'death' and 'where did the little girl in the movie go'.

I'm interested in how other parents have handled this question with their children between the ages of 4-6?
 

TinaG

High Elder
Joined
May 6, 2006
Messages
876
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
58
Location
San Antonio Texas
Website
comethatmidnight.wordpress.com
Boy, that's a toughie the first time they ask you about that isn't it?  It must be the age because my almost 5 yo has been asking about death a lot lately. 

I try to keep it simple and on his level.  I tell him that everything dies - plants, animals, people.  That our bodies get old or sick, but that God the Father loves us so much that he wants everyone to be with him forever in Heaven, and if we love Jesus and love God's Holy Church, we will go to live with him in Heaven, and with the Mother of God, the Saints and everyone else who loves Jesus too.  He sometimes gets very upset and says "I don't want to die" or "I don't want Mommy to die".  So I have to reassure him that I love him and that I don't want to leave him and that, God willing, it may not happen for a long, long time, but we will all be together in Heaven one day.  It's like the big S... talk - give 'em only what they can understand at the time and don't make it into some long, convoluted explanation about sin, redemption, etc... 

Even with all the explanations I don't think he really understands what death is, because he keeps saying that if Mommy & Daddy die they are going to become mummies and join the Army of the Undead Mummies and fight bad guys (Thanks to TV and his 7 yo brother's fascination with anything Egypt right now).
 

Simayan

High Elder
Site Supporter
Joined
Jun 18, 2005
Messages
816
Reaction score
0
Points
0
Age
30
Location
Portland, Maine
Good response, Tina!

I remember when my Grandmother died when I was 6. My mom decided to tell me at a young age why death happens, and though it's painful, it's the best thing for a child to know the truth.

It's always easier when the family is religious, too. I can only imagine the pain when an atheist parent tells their child "Your grandmother died, and you'll never see her again."

The best way I can see handling it is to say that the person is still alive, but not on Earth. And that eventually, everyone will see that person again. But I would be careful to leave out the Church, as it's best for people to come across that on their own. Because we do not know who is saved and who is not, we cannot teach others something that should be an individual's own opinion.
 
Top