Talking to your children about death can be very tricky, but it’s important to take the time to properly explain to them what has happened in a way they understand. Here are some tips that could help you with this difficult conversation.

Use Simple and Clear Words

It’s very important to use words like died or death, and explain what these mean clearly, instead of saying things like they’ve “gone to sleep” or “passed away”. These terms can cause confusion and may leave your child not fully understanding what has happened.

Be Honest

Instead of trying to hide your pain or emotion when talking with your children, you should be honest with them about being upset. Being clear with your own feelings can help your children grieve and properly understand how they are feeling.

Prepare them for Future Changes

If the death was of a close family member or friend, your children’s every day lives may now be different. For example, someone new may be picking them up from school. You should clearly outline these changes and answer any questions they may have to ensure they can make this difficult transition a little bit easier.

Talk About the Funeral

What can be expected at a funeral should be discussed, as your kids may have questions about the burial or cremation process. Discussing funeral etiquette, including what to do if there is a viewing, is very important to ensure they know what to expect and how to prepare themselves.

Every child will grieve differently, and some may not want to ask questions straight away. While this will be quite a difficult time for both you and your children, it’s important to help them through this difficult time as well as you can.