Need advice on passing bad news to a 4 years old.

Sevine - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 15 moms have responded )

4

2

0

Hi,
My 4 years old keeps asking about his grandfather who passed away 3 months ago. he knows that he went to a far away place called "heaven", the thing is he wants him to come back or go to him. i tell him that this is not possible. what should i tell him? bearing in mind to tell him true FACTS, but in a very simple way so he would understand at his age.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

15 Comments

View replies by

Katie - posted on 09/12/2010

18

84

0

What I did for my kids who has people who passes thattheyy where very close to name a star after that person

Michelle - posted on 08/02/2010

381

12

68

I know it is very hard for a child that age to understand why they can't see their loved one anymore. My oldest child was 4 yrs old in 2006 when my mother passed away at age of 50 due to her fight with breast cancer. My daughter would asked around that time to go see her but I just tell her that Nana is in Heaven now. She is in a happy place and someday soon we will see each other again. She does have some things special from my mom that is dear to her and she still tells people that her Nana gave it to her. She still once in awhile wakes up crying for her Nana or even during the day she might break down crying. I just hug her and tell her I know, I miss her too.

Judy - posted on 08/01/2010

2

31

1

when my husbands nan passed i told my daughter that she was up in heaven playing games with all her friends and that she will watch over her but that she couldnt talk to my daughter again. i found it easier to discribe heaven as something my 4 yr old could relate to like a playground/park not just a happy place, good luck

Janine - posted on 07/24/2010

29

0

4

My father passed away 2 years ago, my kids were aged 3 and 6. Basically I said it like it was. I told them that grandpa had passed away, and we believed him to be in heaven. It helped that they had seen him sick and knew that he wasn't going to be alive for much longer, so that really did help them to see how sick he was, and they knew the facts. Tell him that it's very very sad and we miss them, but we can't go to see them. They are in our memories and we will always have them there. GIve him a photo of his grandma so he can remember her that way. Also my children going to my fathers funeral was a very good idea. I had some people come to the funeral specifically to help me look after the kids. They sat up the back so they could leave easily if it was too upsetting for them.

Kim - posted on 07/11/2010

11

31

1

My husband passed away four days after our son turned three. He didn't really understand then, but now like some of the others have said, he remembers things that they did together and says things sometimes that truly show how much kids can understand. Just let him know that his grandpa is in heaven and if he was sick, he's not sick anymore, or in pain anymore and that he is happy and that god lets him watch him play all day. Also make sure that he knows that grandpa would love to come and play with him too and that he loved him very much. Sometimes giving your child something that belonged to the deceased helps, and there are also many kids books now about explaining death and the grieving process. Good luck

Diane - posted on 06/14/2010

21

15

2

we have explain to all three of my kids when their great grandmother passed away. that she will always be with you, she is always watching you, and any time you need her she is their. We have given them a picture so if they need to see her they can see and that way if they want to say anything to her they can. before we lost her we lost our pet bird so we also tell them she went to play with cinnamon and she is keeping her safe for us. they knew that their great grandmother was really sick and in a lot of pain. so know they tell me they are glad she is no longer sick and that she is no longer in pain. you have to do what you feel is right. i hop it works out for you and sorry about your loss.

Tracey - posted on 06/03/2010

2

0

0

when my father passed away i explained all about heaven as u have and now when my children want their grandad we write little notes or draw pictures and we send them up to heaven tied to a balloon helium ones work best

April - posted on 05/18/2010

5

14

0

Hello,
I Also have a four year old that had this problem and we started to go to the cemetary and planted flowers. Now he is ok with going and taking care of the flowers insead of on the hunt for a way to see his grandma.

Stacie - posted on 05/14/2010

21

19

2

My girls are three and four and they know that God is in their hearts and everywhere. They know that when people die, it is just the body that dies and their love in their hearts and their smarts in their brains go to heaven with God because God gets a turn to spend time with them too. But they know that it is ok to miss those people and talk about them and to them with God. This makes them not only miss the person but know that it is ok to miss them and that God missed them before and we will see them later but they watch us now.

Sevine - posted on 04/30/2010

4

2

0

Thank you ladies for your support. All your advices are really helpful. I know that "time" is the most important issue here.

Joanne - posted on 04/26/2010

17

15

1

my husbands mom died when my son was 2...he really didnt understand her leaving at all..but as time went on; he would ask questions about her, even talk about things they did together when he was 2, and i couldnt believe he would remember that...i told him she was up in Heaven and that she is always watching him...every night at bedtime, he would look up and tell grandma goodnight and love you...so sweet. its very comforting

Tiffany - posted on 04/19/2010

20

9

4

I agree with Kim. My boy was about 3 when his great-grandmother passed away. We explained that sometimes people fall sick and their bodies stop working. So they have to go away. It's a special place and you can't just go and visit.

If you have a pet in the family that died eg goldfish, it's easier to illustrate the point. And if you are religious, you can explain that his grandfather has now gone to be with Jesus/God. Your child would probably accept the news better.

Tell him it's ok to be sad. Children go through the stages of grief too, depending on how attached they were. So just give him time. Be supportive.

Kim - posted on 04/11/2010

1

15

1

That is very sad. I would tell him that his grandfather is in his heart and maybe give him something of his grandfathers that he can hold if he wants to feel closer to him when he really misses him. Try to tell him that his grandfather is watching him from heaven and that he loves him very much.

If you see this, leave this form field blank.
Powered by RESPECT not THUMPS

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms