How do I explain death to my young children so that they will understand?

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010 ( 4 moms have responded )

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Tonight my little girl Hailey asked me why there was no mamaw for her poppy. I tried to explain that there was a wonderful mamaw but she got sick and had to leave us but she is just 3 year sold and its hard for her to understand.

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Bree - posted on 07/20/2010

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I lost my son 9 weeks ago, and had to explain it to my 5 year old daughter. We explained he got sick, and went to heaven. We told her his heart stopped beating and he couldn't breathe anymore. She practised holding her breath and pretending she was dead. I know it sounds morbid, but it helped her understand. She also asked what dead looks like, and we explained it just looks like sleeping, and it's very peaceful. We also took her to the funeral and burial, and she saw him being put into the ground in his "special bed." We visit the cemetary so she understands that his physical body is worn out, but his spirit is an angel flying in the sky. Good luck.

Amanda - posted on 07/20/2010

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if you are religious children grasp and find comfort in heaven. I am not religious so i struggled alot when my dog died suddenly and had to explain to my two and a half year old where she went. I tried to explain it on a level the same as toys, whose batteries run out. but that you cant replace somebodies batteries like you can with toys. I have also heard it explained that when given a choice to live forever or have children, we chose to have children, and that everything eventually leaves the world to make room for the new babies. Hope that helps.

Kimberly - posted on 07/20/2010

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Death is an abstract concept but you could look for a children's book, they tend to tell things in ways that children can somewhat understand. You also have to know that her understanding is not what we as adults can comprehend, so she will get it in the 3 yr old way. When my kid's papa died attending the funeral and the story helped.

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well, that is a tough one!!!!! My daughter was 2 1/2 when her grandpa died........we took her to the funeral, of course, she was too loud, so took her out to the car and waited for it to finish. She asked where he was, and kept asking, we go to church, so that did help. Explained that he went to heaven to live with Jesus, and has no more ouwies, can walk good and run now, and she is 4 1/2 now, and still remembers what she was told, and where he is. She didn't grasp it right away, but after explaining a couple of times. She udnerstood, then when she was 3 1/2, we had to have both our kitties put to sleep, and also had to explain that to her. It is a hard one for little ones to comprehend, but they will in time. But explaining about heaven, and God, they seem to understand. Kids can believe in something they can't see, just like Santa/ or other idols. Believing that someone can have salvation and go to heaven to live with Jesus, I have found most kids understand easier. Hope that helps, it is still a tough one to explain. I never believed in keeping things from my kids, so told her the truth from the get go.

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