There are certain conversations that no one likes to have with their children. Death is no exception. However, taking the time to discuss death with your children can make all the difference when a loved one passes away.
There are a few things you can do to make talking about death with your child a little easier. If you have a loved one receiving hospice care in Las Vegas, the following suggestions will help you prepare your child for an emotional crisis and, ultimately, lessen the blow.
Do take advantage of unemotional moments.
Talking about death with your children is really hard when you’re in the thick of things. You’re grieving, and that can make it tough to explain death the way your child likely needs it explained.
You can get around this by taking advantage of moments when your emotions aren’t running so high. Talk about death to your children when you notice a dead bug, bird, or animal. This allows you to address your child’s curiosity without dipping into your emotional well.
Do remember that children are aware.
Children notice death all around them. Whether the source is the backyard or the television, your little ones are aware of death. Because of this, they will ask questions.
It’s important to make sure that you don’t make your child feel guilty or ashamed of their curiosities. Listen to your children, and show interest in what’s being said. If your children are coming to you with questions, the battle is half won. Speak honestly in an age appropriate way to make it a lot easier for your children to process death in the future.
There are also a few things that you want to avoid when talking about death with your children.
Don’t wait or avoid the talk.
Sometimes, it can feel like your children aren’t old enough to talk about death. That can tempt many parents to wait till later or avoid the conversation completely.
However, if your children are asking questions, they’re already aware of death. Chastising them for their questions, even when done mildly with honorable intentions, creates ill feelings in your children. This is when many children begin to develop taboos about death. Some children will even begin to avoid conversations about anything after a time.
While it may be uncomfortable, the better way to go is to address your child’s questions as they arise. Let them know that it’s okay for them to be curious and answer their questions transparently.
Don’t expect to have all the answers.
The biggest mistake parents make is thinking they’re supposed to have all the answers. Of course, you want to prepare your child for life’s harder moments as best as you can. Just don’t expect to have all the answers.
The best you can do is be honest with your children. If you have doubts about something, express that. Saying, “I’m really not sure about that, but here’s what I think…” is an answer that will always be more efficient than trying to come up with something you don’t believe.
Just remember: children are curious by nature. They’ll ask tons of questions that are likely to make you think of things you’ve never thought of before. That’s the beauty of children. Embrace this fact, and you’ll find yourself learning from them as well.
Talk about death with your children before the time comes. With a loved one in hospice, there’s no telling when that final moment will be upon you. If you’re still apprehensive about this conversation, ProCare Hospice of Nevada can offer additional support. For more information about available hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.