Until just a few generations ago, the deceased parent was kept in the house and the children participated in the whole ritual like any other member of the family. Even if it is no longer done this way, keeping the little ones out of these kinds of times makes them feel excluded from the family unit at a time when they are in particular need of their protection.
It has spread in recent years the tendency to overprotect minors by using euphemisms and even lie to them about death to avoid their pain. However, death is a natural part of life and preparing children to deal with it is essential so that they can normalize the stages of grieving when the time comes. Now … how to do it?
Communicate the death of a loved one to a child
Death must always be communicated by one of his parents or, if that is not possible, by a parent or someone very close to the child’s emotional circle. We must choose a calm and calm environment, indoors, where you can feel protected: the best place is your own bedroom.
We will sit next to him and make physical contactEither hug her, or take her hand, put ours on one of her legs … eye contact is just as important. Our tone of voice will be calm and we will use simple words that the child can understand, with short sentences and without avoiding words like “dead” or “dead”.
Boys and girls up to 6 years
They still ignore the concept of the irreversibility of deathSo we have to be very concise. For example, we can tell him that he is dead and will never come back, that we will never see him again, that he is dead forever.
It is important that you understand that death is not a changeable thing so that you can focus on the fact. His next concern will be how it will affect this him in his life, and here we will have to answer him sincerely, explaining to him the changes that will take place (if for example one of the parents has died), if he will continue to go to the same school and live in the same house, who will take care of him now …
From 6 to 9 years old
You know that death is not a reversible fact they keep having doubts as if being dead hurts, If they can hear us, where the dead go … We should be sincere in our answers and try to give open answers so that he himself can have his idea in this regard.
For example, we can tell him that for some people the dead go to paradise, that for others, they are born again after a while, for others everything ends in death … and that in reality nobody knows. him what comforts us to think of ourselves but that he can think and believe what makes him feel better.
They already understand death like us and your greatest concern will be your own safety, keeping your world as intact as possible. It is essential to respect their time and to give them space if they prefer to be alone or in the company of boys of their age. Let them know we’re here if you need anything from us.
It is important to explain to the child that going through grief is a process that takes time, which will gradually return to normal and respect if he is in a bad mood or does not want to speak, because wrong answers and anger are often the means of expressing tears. It should also be stressed the importance of respecting the illness of the child, whatever his age, if it is the death of a pet since it is another member of the family. family.