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  5. How do you discuss 'dying' with your kids?

How do you discuss 'dying' with your kids? Lock Rss

My 6 year old has become quite scared about dying this last week or so, even having bad dreams about it. We have tried to keep things pretty basic (eg. most people only die when they get really old) but honest too (he wants to know if you can come back) ... but the answers just seem to be creating more worries for him and he gets quite teary saying he doesn't want to die. He doesn't want birthdays anymore as he doesn't want to get older etc etc.

How have you approached the issue? Thanks
I think you are approaching it the right way by emphasising the old part (I figure they only need to know otherwise if it happens to someone you know), and with being honest. A lot of kids go through this at some stage or other. My DD went through it last year when she was 5 - every night for about a week she would bawl her eyes out every night cause she didn't want her dad to die - she was honestly so upset you'd think it had really happened! She eventually moved onto something else and now only asks about death occasionally. Hopefully it will pass for you to. Just keep answering his questions in the meantime.
Thanks knockonwood. I was hoping it might pass after a few days too but he seems to be getting more and more upset by it all these last couple of days

You have put my mind at ease that your daughter moved on from it ... I hope he does too as I don't want to lie to him, nor not answer his questions, but I don't like seeing him get upset about it either sad
Hey I know how you feel, my nearly 6yr old is going through the same thing sad he gets so upset sometimes too and says he doesn't want anyone to die, he wishes we didn't have to die and he wishes we could all die together at the same time(his family)
Makes me really sad that he thinks about it so much and gets upset over it sad
He saw about that fire on the news where the 3 nz triplets died and he kept asking about it and would cry thinking about it...
I say the same things as you with emphasis on most people being old when they die etc
We are going through some other things with DS though as he suffers anxiety and were awaiting a referral to mental health unit
hi. maybe it is an age thing?

My DS at about 5 years old also got really upset and worried about death. However this was close to the time that a very close friend lost a little bub stillborn at 36weeks, I think that may have started him thinking.

I approached it similarly to you, trying to keep simple and honest. As he knew a bub who had died I explained that people only die if their bodies are very old and worn out, or very very sick. He has accepted this, but even now 2 years on he still has the odd teary night, worrying about things.

I think what you are doing is the way to go, see how he is after a few more days maybe?

Mr J (April 2005) Miss Z (Feb 2007) and Miss O (Oct 2010)

off topic but you have the same profile pic as chonnie so I am confused as to who is who or is that whom??

mum of 3 boys aged 11, 13 and 14

vkw wrote:
off topic but you have the same profile pic as chonnie so I am confused as to who is who or is that whom??

laugh I saw the pic and then read the topic and I thought what I didn't start that laugh

There are some fantastic picture books out that help with discussing death. Ask at your public library and schools generally have them in stock so you could ask your childs teacher if attending school.
Staff at book stores are good references too - I think Mem Fox wrote a good picture book about the passing of a Grandparent a while back. Hope that helps.
My Grandpop (my daughters Great Grandpop) died in nearly 12 months ago. The day he died, I had planned to take my daughter up to the hospital to visit him.

My daughter kept asking 'why cant we go see Grandpop', I said 'Grandpop lives in heaven now up in the sky'. Since then, she always says Grandpop is up in the sky.

I am not sure how else to explain it to a young child. That is just how I explained it to her.

We arent religious, but my mother in law was. I nursed her through the last months of terminal cancer, and we often explained to our DD that nana was going to heaven. She was very sick, and sometimes the medicine doesnt work, so she died, and went to heaven.
She hasnt queried it, but she often tells me that nana is sleeping (the last time she saw her she just thought she was sleeping, rather than dead) in heaven now.
Its such a hard topic!

Thanks for all the replies, some great ideas.

Yes it is a hard topic. My kids thus far have only known of older people to die, which is why it's been easy to say it happens to older people sad

As someone said would happen, over the last week his fear about dying has gone from being brought up every day to now once every few days ... he lost a tooth so his questions seem to have turned to the tooth fairy for the moment.

hehe I see that Chronnie ... will try and change mine now if I can wink
When my dad was dying, i told little master that grandad was very sick but the doctors wher trying to make him better.
When my dad pass away i told him that grandad loved him & us and he would never want to leave us but God was calling him, so grandad is now with God and grandad mummy & daddy and is watching over you.

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