How to talk to children about death?

How to talk to children about death?

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Death is a concept that is very difficult for us all to understand and to bear. This concept, which is full of details that are not easy to explain even for us adults, is a complete abstract thought for children. But we all know that death is a part of life and it is one of the most important topics to be told to children.

Most families are worried about explaining the death to their children, worrying that this may cause some psychological problems in children. However, adopting that death also exists in the child's life is one of the important points that adults should accept. There must be no reason to explain the death to our children. Children can also witness the death of a flower or an animal they possess and value. In such cases, it may not be right to avoid ignoring and explaining the death event. It will not be easy to explain the death to the child on heavier trams where the child lives, so missing simple opportunities to explain the concept of death to your child may make your job much more difficult when explaining a future death.

How do children's perceptions of death vary according to age groups?

Children 0-3 years old:

Generally, children under 3 years of age cannot detect death. For this reason, children who experience the death of their relatives in the first three years of life find it less frightening than children in the other age group. However, even if these children do not comprehend the death, they may notice and react to changing living conditions. For example, changing children's routines (feeding time or changing sleep patterns) can cause discomfort in children. Such arrangements in the life of the child may be seriously shaken, especially when the first-degree relative dies, and changes in the child's eating and sleeping patterns may lead to exaggerated moods (too much crying, too much restlessness).

What can you do?

 • Try to remain as loyal to the routines the child has as possible.

 • Be careful not to make any changes to the child's physical environment.

 • Give great importance to the nutrition of the child, because it is the most important routine eating order for children in this age group.

Children 3-6 years old:

Children in this age group may perceive the death event better than children in the 0-3 age group. However, they still cannot comprehend that the event of death is continuous, they believe that this situation is temporary and that the deceased will return after a while. When the children are told that the deceased is buried, he may think that he may feel cold or hungry in the grave.

What can you do?

 • Explain the child's death by eye contact in a quiet and quiet environment.

 •  Avoid sentences like “he has now gone into a deep sleep or went on a long journey”.

 • Try to explain the death to your child as concrete as possible. “Death means that a person no longer breathes, doesn't eat, go to the bathroom and grow up artık.

 • Provide opportunities for the child to express his / her feelings for this event. It can be relaxing for the child to paint or listen to a story about death. According to some experts, re-talking and reviving the funeral moment is among the activities that provide opportunities for the child to experience his / her emotions.

 • The child can be reminded of the death at regular intervals to help the child understand the issue better, because the death event is a slowly understood process.

Reactions against child death in severe cases:

 • Adaptation and behavior disorders (lower soaking, stuttering, aggression)

 • Nightmares, sleep problems

 • Fainting, chills

 • Shutdown

 • School failures

 • Various tics

We all know how difficult it is to explain to a child who is facing death. You can get psychological and technical assistance from an expert in order to avoid making a mistake in this situation. If you believe that the child's reactions are too severe, please contact a child psychiatrist, otherwise the child will not be able to cope with the incident and will have intense psychological problems.

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