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We don't know how to talk about death, especially with children. Either we pretend to lie, or we avoid such conversations altogether. Meanwhile, a child cannot be deceived and must not be cheated. How to tell a child that mom or dad is dead, that grandma is gone forever?

How to talk to a child about death ? How to tell a child that mom, dad, grandmother - someone very close to him, will never hug him again? The child does not know why when asked why dad does not come back for so long, mum replies that he left and cries very, very much, although dad used to leave too, and mum did not cry …

Read: When loved ones go away

Meanwhile, a child cannot be deceived and must not be fooled. He also, like an adult, feels strong emotions at this time, experiences and suffers similarly. And because it is small and does not understand many things yet, it requires particularly careful care in these difficult moments - says psychologist Dr. Katarzyna Korpolewska.

Read: Mourning takes time

- You have to talk to the child about death, but in such a way as not to frighten him, cause permanent injury, or injure him. It is not easy, but you have to try. If we ourselves are in such a state that we cannot talk, ask someone else, another close person whom the child trusts.

Read: First comes the shock

It is certainly much easier to talk to a child about death at home, where it was not a taboo subject, where the child has already encountered death, even of a beloved pet.

What absolutely must not be said when talking to your child about death

  • that someone died because the child misbehaved, that death is a kind of punishment for his bad behavior. This could lead to permanent injury and, as a consequence, even serious illness;
  • that "beloved by God depart early", that is, God takes those whom He loves the most. The child certainly does not imagine God's love in this way and such a translation could cause him many negative, extremely inappropriate feelings;
  • that God took his mum, dad or grandma to him because he loved them very much. Such argumentation is a shock for the child;
  • that the loved one did not die, but now lives in a different place, in the cemetery. Such a translation can bear a lotdifficult situations later, e.g. a child will want to see a loved one in her "new apartment" …
  • that a loved one is alive and will come back, but it is not known yet when. This is one of the worst translations. A lie that cannot be reversed in any way.

What to say and how to talk to your child about death

  • Truth. This is the basis. That a loved one has died and will never come back. It is very, very important. Because a child, brought up on cartoons and other forms of communication, in which death is shown as something reversible, sometimes in an even amusing way, believes that even now someone has died only "make-believe". Saying that a deceased person will not come back is especially important for young children up to the age of 5. Because in this period, the little man is not yet aware of the passing of time. For him, death is something like a dream. Someone falls asleep and then wakes up, and it's the same again. And a child, even a small one, should know that it is a dream from which you cannot wake up anymore.
  • Older children already correctly associate death, but attribute it to old people. And you have to explain to them that this is not always the case.
  • Use examples of animals, plants that die because they get sick, because someone hurt them, because this is how the circumstances coincided. Sometimes you can refer to a fairy tale.
  • Offer the child to make a drawing or write a letter to the deceased person. This will calm your emotions and make it easier to receive the tragic news.
  • Don't hide your own feelings. The child will notice that something is hiding from him anyway. Cry with him and say that it is normal in such circumstances, because this is how the grief of the loss is expressed.
  • To emphasize that the deceased person loved the child very much and would definitely like it to be happy, smiling. That crying is needed now, but such crying clears and then life goes on.
  • And most of all - show your child more love, tenderness, hug them more often.

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