Explaining death to children by parents
Explaining death to children is one of the most difficult tasks for parents, especially when they themselves are grieving the death of a loved one. But death is an undeniable part of life, and whether we like it or not, from a very young age, children become curious about it and are interested in understanding and asking about ways to naturally express their grief. They are, their child expresses his fear or finally asks this difficult question at an age and they should be ready to say what he will answer. In response to his question about death.
In order to be ready for this situation, we need to have information about children’s fear of death, how they understand this phenomenon, and the right way to respond to them.
Asking questions like what does the dead mean, when am I going to die? Someone tell me where the dead person is going and it is perfectly normal and there is no need to lie or answer with a nod because lying to children, only confuses them. We may even force the child to turn to others to quench his curiosity.
Children’s questions about death
We ask Leila Hoshyar Mahboob, a master of psychology, for guidance on this issue. “Fear and anxiety are two natural emotions that we all experience in life. These two feelings help us to avoid behaviors that pose a threat to our survival,” he said of children’s fears of death and how they arise. Fears and anxieties naturally change during growth, meaning that a person’s cognitive and emotional development affects his emotions.
Hoshyar Mahboub explains the background of the emergence of the child’s fear and its type in comparison with the adult fear of death: We naturally experience fears at any age, and the fear of death has a satire whose titles change, such as the fear of separation that The child experiences around 6 to 9 months is an introduction to other more developed fears that will be dealt with in the future, namely the fear of death in the sense that we understand in adulthood from early childhood to late adolescence.
This psychologist believes about the age of children’s curiosity about the subject of death and possible answers in response to them: At the age of 3 to 6, depending on the events and experiences of children’s hearing and sight, we may have questions about death by the child, which is normal. And your sense of death and response has a huge impact on your child’s perception and fear. In order to have the best way to deal with this question in front of your child, try not to say anything in a serious or emotional way.
The best way to answer this question is to give your child a natural definition free of any extra excitement. Like, “Everyone has to die one day.” “Many people get tired, worn out, and old when they get tired, and then they die.”
Leila Hoshyar Mahboob, a senior psychologist, says that some parents give incorrect answers about this issue: “Some parents try to avoid distracting the child by avoiding this issue, or instead of defining this issue correctly and accurately.” And they give inappropriate answers thinking that the child is not able to understand it.
You should note that saying irrational sentences like death is like a dream and the dead person is actually asleep can be very problematic. Many children are afraid of falling asleep for a long time because of hearing this answer and have difficulty falling asleep. The interesting thing is that if the parent does not see death as a horrible event, he will be able to convey the same feelings to his child.