Answering young children's questions about death and grief

Susan Goldberg, MA Author and Blogger, shares advice for parents on the best way to answer your young child's questions about death and grieving
Advice For Answering Young Children's Questions About Death & Grief
KidsInTheHouse the Ultimate Parenting Resource
Kids in the House Tour

Answering young children's questions about death and grief

Comment
178
Like
178
Transcription: 
What is my advice for answering children's questions about death and dying and grieving? When I was pregnant with my first son, my mother was dying. And she died before he was born. So his birth story is really wrapped up in her death story. And he knows that. And it's really resonated with him. And so both my kids have been very interested in what it means to die. And my partner's father also died shortly before one of our kids was born. So they've had a lot of questions. And they're really fascinated by it. We've tried to answer them as frankly as possible. And they get very, very detailed. They want to know, what did she say when she died? And what did she look like? And what did you do with the body? And they're very interested in the very practical stuff. And we've tried to answer that, because for kids they really need to know what the practical is. Which has also lead to questions about, what would happen if you died? And we've told them, here are the plans we have for you, and here's who will take care of you. And we've been very frank about it. And the conversations have been sad, but not for them. They've been sad for us as parents to go through those stories over and over again. But I think for our kids, they're oddly comforting. They're learning that death isn't a mystery. They're learning that it's something that does happen. They see that it's something that has happened to both their parents. They see the love and they see the sadness. And it's sort of teaching them about the cycle of life as something to be accepted and teaching them about emotions and how to have them. And also that they're going to be okay, that they're going to be taken care of. So they're really hard conversations to have sometimes, but they've been some of the most rewarding conversations that we've had.

Susan Goldberg, MA Author and Blogger, shares advice for parents on the best way to answer your young child's questions about death and grieving

Transcript

Expert Bio

More from Expert

Susan Goldberg, MA

Author & Blogger

Susan Goldberg is a writer, editor, essayist and blogger, and coeditor of the award-winning anthology And Baby Makes More: Known Donors, Queer Parents, and Our Unexpected Families. Her writing has been featured on the CBC and the Globe and Mail, in Ms., Lilith, and Stealing Time magazines, and several anthologies, including the forthcoming Chasing Rainbows: Exploring Gender-Fluid Parenting Practices. Susan is a contributing blogger at Today’sParent.com and VillageQ.com. In 2012, she was chosen as one of BlogHer’s Voices of the Year. She’s currently (always) working on a novel, called Step on a Crack, and on Overflow, a one-woman performance piece about lingerie and breast cancer. Susan lives in Thunder Bay, Ontario, with her partner and their two sons.

More Parenting Videos from Susan Goldberg, MA >
Enter your email to
download & subscribe
to our newsletter