How do i tell my 6 year old that her step grampa passed away?

Tracy - posted on 09/27/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )




I got a call from my 6 year old daughters step mom letting me know that her step grandpa passed away yesterday and she would rather i tell her before she goes to her dads next week.Iv never really explained death to my daughter because she is so young, I'm SO SCARED of how much it is going to hurt HER when i tell her.I no idea how to even explain this to do you tell a 6 year old she will never get to see him again???


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Amy - posted on 09/28/2012




You just need to be very careful what wording you use. If you know what she passed away from it would be best to say "Grammy x had a heart attack last night and died". Or if it was known she was sick you can say "Grammy was very sick with cancer and the doctors tried giving her all the medicines but nothing could fix her". If you are vague it leaves it open for interpretation so if you just say she was sick she's going to think everytime you or her get sick you are going to die. If you say she died in her sleep you may cause anxiety around sleep.

If she was close to this person then it's very normal for her to be upset. Answer her questions openly and honestly. She may have questions later after she starts processing it all or she may not. Unfortunately death is a part of life but kids are very resilient and strong.

Robin - posted on 09/28/2012




kids are a lot stronger then we give them credit for. I had to tell my sisters 3 kids who were 9, 7, and 5 at the time that their grandma (my mom) passed away. I just sat down with them and asked questions first....

1) What do you know about death/dying?

2) How do you feel about it?

3) Is there anything that you have questions about death?

Then I said something like.... "well.... you know grandma had been sick, and how grandma was a very special person to us.... God decided that he needed her help in Heaven"

I waited at that point to see if they would already know or had questions.

Then i said "grandma passed away/died last night in her sleep. She was okay, she wasnt hurt".

they cried and i held them. but i just kept talking to them about and let them know i was there if they had questions or wanted to talk. we sat around all day and just hung out. My nephew actually told me his grandma was in his dream that night and said that she would always be watching him and that she loved him.

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