My son is worried about death

Leslie - posted on 03/14/2011 ( 17 moms have responded )

1

0

0

My 7 yr. old son is constantly worried about death. He cries every night at bedtime saying "I'm scared about what it will be like when I die." We haven't had any deaths in the family recently, unless you count the hampster that he never went near. I try to comfort him by telling him that he doesn't have to worry about dying for a super long time, but I'm not sure what else to do. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

Or-Tal - posted on 03/14/2011

18

20

1

Fear of death is something to take really seriously. I've heard a psychologist talk about kids fearing death and it was really interesting.

This can often occur with kids who are highly intelligent, and their intelligence is more mature than their age. This means that intellectually they are capable of understanding death and what it means, but mentally they are too young to cope with death and what it means.

There are 2 means to deal with it - often to be used combined. One is CBT with a trained child psychologist and the other is homeopathy.

What parents need to understand is that those fears usually don't go away, so the only thing you can do is give your child tools to manage and control those fears. Telling them not to worry or talk about the after life and heaven is no cure.

Mandi - posted on 03/28/2011

3

6

0

I have the same problem with my son. It started when he was around 6. We went to counseling and we also developed a bedtime routine that we still go back to now, 3 years later when the issue resurfaces. My son and I come up with an idea that he then continues to develop until he falls asleep. My sons favorite is designing a theme park. He thinks about what kids of rides and games he would have if he had his own them park. We talk about it for a few minutes together before lights out, then he continues to add his own ideas as he falls asleep. What he would have on his own personal island, What he would see on a trip to space, and What he would have in his own mall/city are also fun. On an especially bad night I sometimes talk with him until he falls asleep or have him write his ideas in a notebook. I find with my son after his initial fear ( which was a nightly occurance for about 3 months, now it only pops up a few times a month and last a few nights. He also enjoys listening to the radio to fall asleep nightly which seems to have helped also. Good Luck!

Mercede - posted on 03/23/2011

42

2

2

Don't worry Mom. My 7 year old son has recently started to ask me a lot of questions about death and what happens after and I can tell he's really scared when talking about it. We havn't had any death around us either. so, I think it's a reflection of what they hear from friends in shcool or see in movies, etc. He's a very smart boy and things he hear or see usually have great impacts on him because he thinks about them alot.
I don't take this seriously, I know it will pass. This is just another phase of growing and understanding different concepts in life that all kids go through more or less. Meanwhile, I try to explain death to him as clearly as I can and try to look very cool and not scared while talking about it like we're talking about sports or movies. It really calms him down.

Sylvie - posted on 03/27/2011

4

0

0

When someone dies, you may start to wonder if the other people in your life will also die soon. You may ask yourself, "Will my mom or dad die?" or "Will I die?" The best thing you can do is share these thoughts with your family. It may be difficult — maybe even a little painful — to talk about these things, but it can feel good to share your feelings. It's important to talk about any fears you may have instead of hiding them or pretending you aren't scared. The people who love you want to know you're having these feelings so they can help.

Did you know you can also help the grownups around you when they're sad that someone has died? Can you remember a funny story about the person who died? Or something nice that person did for you? Tell the good stories you remember out loud. They will make everyone feel a little better.

If I'm Going to Die Someday, What Should I Do Now?


There are many things about death we do not know and may never know. We do know that it will happen, someday, to all of us. But you should not worry or wonder about it for very long. There are too many wonderful things to experience in the many, many years ahead! :)

Andrea - posted on 03/19/2011

4

0

0

I remember being that way at exactly that age. I was 7 when my grandmother died and for some reason it really freaked me out. One day I told my mom that since I was only seven that I had a really long time before I died and she said that what I said was not necessarily true and that kids die all of the time then she went on to tell me how my brother (was born way before me) died when he was seven from getting hit by a car while going to the ice cream truck. After that I really got freaked out and I would cry every night before going to bed thinking this oh my goodness this could be my last day here. So I cannot give you any advice but I thought I would just share my story.

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

17 Comments

View replies by

Reece - posted 5 days ago

1

0

0

Hi im 15 and at the time of writting this im in tears i so worried about death but only at night times during the day im fine and can deal with but when i hit the pillow i cannot stop thinking about. i think of everything and when i try and change the topic its like another voice inside me overtakes and starts speaking about it i have so many worries about death and i had it for the last 4 5 months every night i cry myself to sleep

Jodi - posted on 03/29/2011

2

11

0

My daughter did the same thing about that age as well. Her focus was on a pet dog we'd had that passed away when she was 3! But her missing Casey and wondering what happened to her moved into what would happen to her when she died and would it hurt and just a lot of fear over a long period of time. Basically every night I just reassured her that we really don't know what happens when we die, but here's what I believe and shared my beliefs with her. We read a lot of Dog Heaven and kind of translated that into what a people heaven might be like. While it's frustrating that it goes on every night, and there doesn't seem to be a pat answer that they'll believe, it eventually does get better. Just be willing to share your beliefs with him and to do it with consistency every night, and eventually he'll move on from this.

Cynthia - posted on 03/28/2011

1

3

0

I know just what it feels like when your child is concerned with death. See my daughter was 4 when 9/11 occured and that night she asked me "mommy are we going to die". At the time I was stummped. I had no idea how to respond. The only thing I could come up with at the time was " no baby not now but if it makes you feel better you can sleep with mommy tonight." When she fell asleep I knew I would have to come up with a better answer by morning because she is a very inquisitive child and I knew she would ask more questions. I decided to go online and search for the best way to explain death to a 4yr. old. I came up with NOTHING. All I could do was pray and try and get some sleep before dawn.

Well true to form the next morning while eating her cereal she asked " Mommy are you going to die?" I closed my eyes took a deeeeeep breath and said Yes, Then i went on to explain that everything that has life must die at some point. I told her that it will be a long time before either one of us would and that death is a gift from god just as life is.But let's not rush it. LOL. She looked at me and said "Well i want to live good so I can die good." smiled and went back toeating her cereal. We never spoke on the topic again.

Point is be honest and straight. You will be amazed at how much a child can comprehend.

SB. My baby is now 13 and lives life to the fullest.

Kristin - posted on 03/25/2011

1,645

40

305

I would just talk to him about death. What it is. What lots of people believe happens to you after. Just be honest with him. If you are a person of faith, maybe get your clergy person involved. Ask him what he thinks and what brought this to his attention. It could be a classmate or something he saw on TV brought this on. My 6 yo has been obsessing for a week or two now about tsunami. We just presented the facts as they are and how they pertain to us geographically.

Good luck, I hope this helps.

Kelly - posted on 03/22/2011

9

19

3

Both my sons have serious concerns about death and worry about it ... my youngest, I have a hard time getting to sleep on a regular basis. I would absolutely suggest finding out what your son is most worried about. We are a religious family, so my oldest son was never worried about where he goes after death. Instead, he chooses to wonder about everything... does death hurt, how can you die, can babies and kids die, etc. As long as you can answer his questions, he thinks about them and then either resolves them in his mind or comes up with more questions. My youngest, however, fears death in a very different way ... he is mostly concerned with me or those that take care of him dying. He's worried about who will take care of him. Because of that worry, he's spent entire nights getting up every couple hours and making sure I'm "still alive" or "there". Once you know what your son is worried about in regards to death, the better you'll be able to respond to his worries. :o) Good luck!

Andrea - posted on 03/19/2011

4

0

0

I remember being that way at exactly that age. I was 7 when my grandmother died and for some reason it really freaked me out. One day I told my mom that since I was only seven that I had a really long time before I died and she said that what I said was not necessarily true and that kids die all of the time then she went on to tell me how brother (was born way before me) died when he was seven from getting hit by a car while going to the ice cream truck. After that I really got freaked out and I would cry every night before going to bed thinking this oh my goodness this could be my last day here. So I cannot give you any advice but I thought I would just share my story.

Michelle - posted on 03/17/2011

21

0

0

Hi Leslie,
I can remember being a child and going through the same thing around the age of 9. It was very scary to me and I thought about it every night and it bothered me a great deal. I don't remember when it stopped bothering me or why that changed, but over time it did. What I remember was being afraid of the "scary" part - the thought of being buried, the coffin, your body deteriorating, etc all the morbid things - not really realizing or fully understanding that all of this would have no relevance to me if I was dead as I would not experience the earthly part of "death" once dead. I wish I could remember how or when it changed. My children ask a lot of questions about death since they have lost both people and pets in their life. So far, it hasn't bothered them because I focus on death not being the end but really a transition. They both raised butterflies from larvae and I use this as an example for them. But, of course, this means they need to believe in heaven, god etc, which we do and this helps a great deal. I also tell them we will all be together again, even if we may be a part for a while. You should find out what it is that bothers him about death (the dying? they unknown of where he goes, the "being buried" or being apart from family, etc) and then you can better focus your discussion. If he is like I was it is probably weighing very heavily on him and it's important to give him the relief and comfort he really needs by talking to him in a way that will help understand that it is not the scary thing he thinks it is.

CoffeeMom - posted on 03/15/2011

10

20

1

We have have alot of elderly friends/family pass away and my daughter was that way too for a while. What helped me out was this site http://www.hospicenet.org/html/talking.h...
It explains and give you tips on how to talk about to your child. At the time my daughter was 4 and 5. Hope it helps just be truthful about it is all I can tell you.

Deepti - posted on 03/15/2011

492

16

69

ask him to pray to GOD daily as He will provide him everything... strength, peace, security and lots of love..remind him that u r with him and God has sent u to take care of him... that may help you... all the best

[deleted account]

Seriously, have him watch Harold and the Purple Crayon (an HBO series based on the children's book). One of the episodes deals with death and it's geared for children.

Other than that, I think Kimberly's suggestions are great! :)

Kimberly - posted on 03/14/2011

139

32

29

My daughter used to be like that and she's only goin on 6...I found out that the kids at her school were talking about it and it was bothering her...If u havent asked him already, you may be able to sit and talk with him...Ask him questions like why he's started thinking about it, has something happened at school, or what does he think is gonna happen...Theyre scared because they dont know what to expect and all they know is that they wont see their loved ones anymore (or thats all they can think about)...As the religion aspect goes, that could work 2...It can either lead to a resolution to the problem or it may end in confusion as most children that age dont really understand but worth a shot...If everything u try still doesn't work, then try to seek counselling...There may be a bigger underlying problem...Its nothing to be ashamed of if you have to...Some find it easier to talk to a complete stranger than someone close to them...Hope you get the help your looking for and God Bless

MARCIA - posted on 03/14/2011

7

38

1

Thats a hard question,even as adults, some of us r afraid to die, are you guys christians? maybe the pastor can have a chat with him.

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