"Mom, will I ever die?". This question always comes at the wrong time. You look like you just froze for a second. And inside there are a lot of panicked thoughts that stumble over each other. How can I simply answer a difficult question? How to teach a child not to be afraid of what you are afraid of? And is it worth protecting a child from such a topic as death? How to explain and tell a child about death? All the answers are in the article.Why is it important
It doesn't matter if he is interested purely hypothetically or in connection with a specific event in the family. And you, in response, you start to mumble something unintelligible or dismiss the child with the universal answer "You will grow up - you will find out". Negative attitudes begin to form in the baby's head:
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This is what happens to the psyche of a child who is protected from all shocks. One day he will still have to face the realities of life, and this meeting will be devastating for him.
Therefore, talking about unpleasant and difficult things is not only necessary, but also very important. If the child does not hear a clear and unambiguous answer from you, he will start looking for a solution on his own. And then he can already dream up anything. Your persistent unwillingness to talk about death can also provoke a child to develop various phobias.
Your child may ask about death when he encounters this phenomenon by accident. The reason will be a plot in a cartoon or a book, a conversation of peers or adult strangers. In this case, the child will be interested in death as an abstract phenomenon, and it will be easier to answer his questions.
Another situation is the death of a loved one. For example, how to explain to a child that his mother died? You have not yet coped with grief yourself and you want to isolate the child from it out of habit. You shouldn't do that. The child understands that something is happening around, a loved one is no longer around, and his familiar world is collapsing. Ignorance and misunderstanding of the situation is a fertile ground for additional fears and worries.
Children learn about the world around them.
And along with the questions from the category "Why is the water wet?" sometimes they ask completely unexpected questions:
Don't laugh, don't be surprised, and don't show confusion. Even if the child's interest seems strange or inappropriate to you, try to answer as sincerely as possible. Sometimes children's questions can stump any adult. If you find it difficult to answer, just admit it. Give your child time to think about new information. Ask if he understood you correctly. And promise that you will answer all new questions today, tomorrow and at any time when they appear.
Loss of a loved oneChildren of different ages perceive death differently.
But how, for example, to explain to a child that dad died? There are universal rules that will be useful to you in any case:
At this age, children still do not understand that death is irreversible. Often they perceive it as a temporary separation. And parents, by mistake, readily support and develop this misconception.
Children believe in the power of their negative thoughts or the phrase "I hate you! I don't want to see you!". If a loved one died soon after, the child often considers himself the culprit of what happened. The guilt complex adds to the tragedy of an already painful situation.
What to do:
If you did not immediately inform your child about the death of a dear person, do it soon. Start a conversation after his next question about the deceased and act according to the rules.
From 6 to 10 years. Children are already beginning to realize death as an irreversible process. However, it is most often perceived as an abstract evil spirit that mainly takes the elderly. At this age, death is not associated with peers or parents and can cause a real shock due to its suddenness.
Don't wait for the child to face death in real life. Don't shield him from movies and books with an unhappy ending. Give him the opportunity to train his emotions on a fictional plot and characters.
Teens. At the age of 10 years and older, adolescents already understand the nature and consequences of death. However, due to the crisis period of growing up, death has a certain aura of mystery and attractiveness for them. No wonder, despite prohibitions and warnings, more and more teenagers are being drawn into "death groups" on social networks.
"Why exactly did he die in this accident? It's not fair! Is death a punishment for something? Why did God allow this to happen?"
Teenagers are looking for answers to these and other questions. Try to explain that death does not choose victims. Grief comes to both bad and good people, and no one is to blame for what happened. If you have clear religious beliefs, answer the questions according to your beliefs.
Carefully monitor the mental state of the teenager. In the transition age, the pain of losing a loved one is experienced especially strongly. If a teenager is immersed in himself, is not interested in anything and does not show emotions, talk more, spend time together. So you will find out what is really in his soul. If necessary, seek help from a psychologist.What not to say
They prefer to keep silent about the death of a loved one or to clothe the truth incomprehensible to the child in familiar images. But this erroneous path can lead to sad consequences. For example:
"What happens after death?" — perhaps the child will ask such a question.
Don't go into physical and medical details, he doesn't need to know about it at all. Honestly answer that the body is buried in the ground or burned, in accordance with the custom or decision of the deceased.
Explain that a person has not only a body, but also a soul that lives forever. Tell us about it in the religious aspect that your family adheres to. But emphasize that even after death, a person remains alive in the hearts of people who love and remember him.
Is it worth taking a child to a funeralPsychologists do not give an unambiguous answer to this question.
Before taking a child to the funeral of a loved one, pay attention to the following factors:
Any of these factors can aggravate the condition and harm the child's health. It will be better to visit the cemetery together some time after the funeral, when both you and the child will calm down a little.
Don't be afraid of questions about death. The child's questions about difficult things are another reason to become more conscious parents. This is an opportunity to sort out your ideas about death and experience your own traumatic experience. Be honest and consistent in your answers. And most importantly — help the child to live grief on an equal footing with everyone. After all, "the shared joy doubles, and the shared grief becomes less than half." April 28, 2020 2022-11-27 2020-04-28 Rate the article on a 5-point scale Did you like the article?Share it on social networks
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