Hello my dear readers and dear followers of our site. Today, I have prepared a series of articles on how to explain death to a child. I said it should be a series of articles because the subject is a little heavy, a little tiring and a little long. I resorted to such a method so that I would not tire you, my dear readers. I hope I followed a good strategy. Anyway, after making such an introduction, let’s move on to the subject. In this first part of the article series, I thought I would prepare an infrastructure. I wish you good reading. If you like it, I would be very happy if you share it on social media. Because if you get someone to read this article, you will actually prevent many children from experiencing serious traumas. Don’t you think this is a very valuable and important effort? Who knows, this contribution you will make will neither save lives nor change lives.
I think that it is a difficult subject to tell about someone’s death, to report about it, and maybe even to talk about death. Indeed, the person who undertakes this job, that is, transferring the news of someone else’s death to another, will have serious difficulties whether he wants to or not. Because as I said, this job is really hard work. While the child does not even know what the concept of death is, perhaps he will hear from you for the first time what this concept actually means. Therefore, it is indeed a serious responsibility to accept. As difficult as it is, it doesn’t take away the fact that death is actually an inevitable part of life. Yes, death is indeed a very, very natural part of the adventure of life, a phase. The whole point is to transfer this natural phase to the child in a beautiful way.
All living things, including us humans, give a start to life for life. It survives for a while. That is, it is born, grows, develops, flourishes. So will it stay like this? Of course not. After that, this life adventure comes to an end. That is, it is born, grows and dies. Children are also aware of this cycle. In other words, children also know that death is actually a stage, an inevitable part of the adventure of life, and maybe they feel it thanks to all their innocence. This awareness or feeling is, of course, a conscious awareness not a conscious feeling. So yes, maybe he has a familiarity somewhere. So what can we add to this familiarity? Whatever we say on that brick he created about death, we will add a brick.
While death is sometimes a naturally expected phenomenon at the end of a long illness, sometimes it can occur suddenly and unexpectedly. Sometimes the child can witness this process, and sometimes he can stay very, very far away. In such a situation, we should really direct the child correctly; Let’s not cause different fears such as the fear of death or different traumas. We must provide such accurate information that; so that the child can cope with the absence of the loved one in a healthy way. We should explain it so well that the child in front of us does not immediately show serious fears in the face of someone around him getting sick or getting old. Don’t overreact too much. Do not create all kinds of scenarios in your mind.
Today, we have experienced such rapid changes in our lives and lifestyles that; He really can’t hide his astonishment. In the past, parents would officially kick the child out of the house. Let him go out, meet his friends, play, get tired etc. Now, there has been such a protective parenting style that the child cannot leave the house properly. Of course, there are understandable aspects to this. However, in order to protect the child, we deprive the child of that natural flow of social life. Therefore, children live life without experiencing life. So, what kind of disadvantages does this have regarding death? First of all, unfortunately, the child can be kept away from condolences in order to protect the child. Children are not taken to cemeteries. Unfortunately, the child is not taken to hospitals for patient visits or even if the patient is at home. This and similar practices make it a little difficult for the child to understand that processes such as death and illness are actually a natural and inevitable part of life.
What about the adults? We can observe ourselves as a person who sometimes talks about death and sometimes listens to conversations about death. Sometimes, when we are alone, we dive into thoughts about death at one end of our minds. Dear reader, let me share something with you. We can observe talking, thinking and pondering about death in a significant part of adults, but we can also observe that in a substantial part of adults, they do not do such intellectual acts at all, right? I can hear you saying yes. In fact, children behave like adults. In other words, we can observe that while questions about death start in some of them even as of the pre-school period, on the other hand, in a substantial part of the children, no questions are even asked or discussed at all. Because, according to the parents’ approach, the child somehow senses whether this issue can be discussed in the family or not. Therefore, it is important for the parents to feel ready to talk about this issue and to give the message that “there is no problem talking about this issue”. Following this, when the child asks a question, the most important detail to be considered is not to “assume”, to understand what he is asking, what he is trying to learn and what he knows about it, and to give concise information about what he is asking at that time. Thus, parents have the opportunity to explore the child’s possible misunderstandings, fears and anxieties.
Children’s recognition of death actually starts at a very early age. For example, preschool. This period covers the ages of 3-6. Children of this period often and often try to get information about death from their parents. Do you know why? Because children of this age must have seen a dead animal on the street, even once. Even if there is a child who has not met on the street, that child must have encountered a death news on television. Let’s say the kid skips that too. Maybe he read it in a book. Maybe he heard it in a story or fairy tale. So it’s not as mysterious as we think.
If there is a flow of information about death between parent and child, if the child is allowed to ask questions, it’s really great. Because the child creates a schema or a folder about death in his mind. Therefore, each conversation means adding an extra page and an extra file to this folder. This will give the child many advantages. For example, the child may not be stunned when faced with death. Again, for example, the child can prepare himself for any possible crisis situation. We can transfer all kinds of information to our child when he/she needs it. When he is sad, we can stand next to him more comfortably and share this sadness more easily.