Talking to Kids About Death in Clark County, WI | Maurina-Schilling Funeral Homes

Talking to Kids About Death in Clark County, WI

September 5, 2019

Death and funeral planning in Clark County, WI are subjects that a lot of people don’t want to talk about. It’s understandable—the thought of death is scary, sad and dark. It is unknown phycological territory that, in many ways, generates more questions than answers. Then there’s having to talk to your kids about death. This is not easy for any parent or guardian, which is why some seek help from professional grief counselors. If you do want to initiate the conversation with your child, then the following guide is for you.

Discussing death is healthy

People are known to shut down and shut others out in times of grief. When a loved one dies, a typical scenario involves the adults making funeral plans, calling family members and friends to deliver the news and stressing over carrying out final wishes. All the while, the young children in the family watch from the sidelines, wondering what’s happening, wondering why mom and dad are crying and why relatives are wearing sad faces.

Avoid this confusing situation and talk to your kids about death. Afterward, your children will have a better understanding of death and feel more comfortable discussing the topic with you. They’ll be able to process their own feelings about death, as well as their fears and concerns about the topic. Their misconceptions about death can be addressed. All this and more will help them adopt a healthier manner of grieving the death of a loved one.

Start the conversation in a gentle and compassionate way and don’t worry about how your child might react. Consider your child’s age and whether or not they have already experienced a death in the family before approaching them with the topic.

While you know your kids best, and you can tweak the following approach as needed, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Prepare yourself: Before initiating a discussion about death with your child, assess the ways you deal with the subject—including your feelings and beliefs about death and how you tend to deal with deaths in the family. Also, it’s better to bring it up with your kids during an unemotional time, or you risk them breaking down or getting upset.
  • Remove barriers: The key to healthy communication is removing barriers. As the parent, you can’t let the natural reaction to shy away from death or to avoid the topic altogether get in the way of having this important talk.
  • Be careful how you act: Children are masters at observing non-verbal messages from adults. You may have noticed your kids noticing your moods without saying a word. They can tell from your body language, facial expressions and energy whether you’re happy, sad, stressed or angry. If you deal with death through non-verbal communication, unfortunately, they’ll likely wind up doing the same.
  • Don’t push the process: Your child is trying to understand the very concept of death at the same time they’re having to process their grief. Give them time, and give them space.

If you need help with talking to kids about death, or have questions about funeral planning in Clark County, WI, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Maurina-Schilling Funeral Homes.

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