How To Help Your Child Understand A Relative’s Passing

child sad with grief

*Collaborative Post

Parenting can be a hard task. Not only do you have to provide the basics shelter, food and water (likely the easy part all things considered), but you also have to help your child learn about life and all that comes with it. This is tough because odds are, you are not quite sure what life is all about anyway, and it can all feel quite crazy to you as well. However, to your child, you are quite literally a fountain of knowledge and experience, and despite your worry, you absolutely have plenty of careful insights and lessons to teach them.


Some areas are easy. For example, teaching your child to never play with electrical outlets. It’s a simple instruction and it can be dealt with by talking them about it, showing them it’s dangerous by using words such as ouch or by removing the child from the situation as many times as it takes in order to drive home the message. However, other things are much more difficult to consider. For example, the passing of a relative. You may be accustomed to death, but to a child, it’s an incredibly sad, confusing, and worrying thing. It’s important to help them learn about it early, but this is a delicate matter and you will need to tread carefully. There’s a balancing act here.

So, let us consider how to apply it:


Emphasize The Beauty Of Their Life

Of course, breaking the news that a relative has passed away can be a difficult time. Be sure to sit at their eye line, to hold their hand, and to tell them. Give them a hug. And then, when they have understood what you have told them, be sure to explain how much of a long, fun and wholesome life they had. That no matter what they will always be a part of the family. This can help a child feel a little more comforted. 


Reassure The Love

It’s important to reassure the child that your relative loved them completely, and that the time you spend together is precious. Ensure that they know this because it can help a passed relative seem less like a newly alien entity and still the same person they related to. When they process this emotions will be felt and they will likely shed tears, but this is where helping them feel safe through also describing your love for them and how your family will always be there for one another can be a vital lesson.


mum and child cuddling


Skimp On Some Of The Details

Your child will likely ask questions. If they ask how it happened, there’s no need to go into detail. Simply let them know that their relative passed away peacefully in their sleep. It may be a white lie and might not be a full account of what had happened, but there’s nothing positive that can come from honesty at all costs here. Skimping on some of the details can help them process this tough news just a little more comfortably. With this taken care of, you may find that selecting the right headstones for graves catered to after the service can be a great place to visit with your child, as it helps them feel connected to the departed relative.


With this advice, we hope you can move through this difficult task with a little more care.

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*This is a collaborative post. For further information please refer to my disclosure page.

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