If you’re enjoying this newsletter, sign up to receive it in your inbox every Wednesday, or forward it to a friend with a morbid preschooler. Tonight he was laying in bed and started crying about how he misses his grandma (who died before he turned one so he definitely doesn't remember her) and he was sad. And you don’t need to get into too much detail with kids this age, said Beville Hunter. Will try to be upbeat about it 100x. We will … Though children pick up these concepts at different ages, depending on their cognitive abilities and their life experiences, at 4, the subconcept they tend to understand first is nonfunctionality, Beville Hunter said. “We went around and read the names on the gravestones, we did etchings, we looked at the numbers and talked about the age they were when they died,” Beville Hunter said. Also when they say 'I don't waaaant you to dieeee' you say 'Oh well we'll all be so old by then. Talking with 3 year old about death of his father. My daughter had abandonment issues (still does). If a kid is really ruminating and you’re concerned because his anxiety is affecting his quality of life, talk to your pediatrician. At the time, I was slightly worried that there was something wrong with her — at best she was a proto-goth who would be really into the Cure as a teenager; and at worst, her questions meant she had some troubling anxiety that was emerging through a fixation on death. Questions about death . AIBU to mention to her parents that my DGD is not developing as expected, Has covid-19 affected your plans to become pregnant or TTC? You’ll also need to … I told him that we all die one day and that it normally happens when we are old and worn out. To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet. So for example, if your child asks you, “When are you going to die?” You can say, “I try to take very good care of myself and to be careful and plan to live a very long time until I’m quite old,” Poltorak suggested. Here’s how to answer them. Children don’t need to have direct experience of death to wonder about it. Easter may bring up dark questions from your preschooler. Most people today live until they're 75 or 80 years old, but some people live as long as 100 years or even more." But when I started talking to other parents, I learned that their preschoolers were also asking tons of questions about death at awkward moments. Thanks. Then my daughter's friend's grandma died in May (who we saw and had a lot to do with). Poltorak, who is Catholic, said she talks to her children about heaven and tries to keep it light. Here are some options if you can't think of what to ask: ... 4. State the reasons for the death as simply as possible: "Grandpa was very, very old and his body couldn't work any more." When our older daughter was 4, it seemed like she was asking us about death constantly. Eventually he told me that he doesn't ever want to die. When I asked her what was wrong she said "will you hold my hand when you die so I can come with you? If you are unsure about how to answer any questions, you could ask the person’s doctor, nurse, a counsellor or social worker for support. When our older daughter was 4, it seemed like she was asking us about death constantly. She was telling my DH that she is scared of death and he told her he was scared too. I explained about funerals and people saying goodbye and it being ok to be sad.Last night he asked me if he died if I would take him floweres! Follow us on our beautiful Instagram @NYTParenting. i think its just a phase that kids go through my dd1 4 was quite obbsessed with death not so long ago and even emptied out her large toy box to lay in because she wanted to know what it was like to be in a coffin!! My 4 and 2 year old know that he was sick and has gone away to be in the stars. If you have a question for a future “Is this a thing?” newsletter, email me here. Child 4 year old is asking about death (self.Parenting) submitted 3 days ago * by indiandramaserial My son (turns five in 2 months) has been asking questions about death lately and I thought to try and be factual but I really don't know how to answer them. Your six-year-old asks, “Are you going to die someday?” Startled by his question, you wonder: ‘Is my child old enough to understand the answer? Our DD age 5 is talking about death quite a lot at the moment. It can just potentially risk greater confusion and lack of understanding,” said Poltorak. Also perhaps the Mog dying one would be good?I used to be awfully chipper about it all. Gently ask a few questions. We’d be sitting at dinner and she’d ask a barrage of questions in a completely neutral voice: “When are you going to die? Was it my fault? Children do think about death. And when I told him that everybody dies one day when they are very old and their bodies wear out but it won't be for a very very long time, he howled and howled inconsolably for hours because mummy was going to die. you know that question your son was asking, back in the mid 80's was the same question my younger brother was asking, he was about 6 then and we had a relative die, and he was asking about death. I tried to calmly match her tone and answer her honestly, but sometimes you just want to eat your salad without contemplating your own mortality. She may think, “Did they go away somewhere? Because it’s straightforward, many preschoolers can understand that when you’re dead, your arms and legs don’t move anymore, and your heart stops beating. Dear Dr. Laura, When my oldest son was 19 months old his father was killed by a drunk driver. Try to respond simply and clearly. Her father, who was very close to her children, died recently. If you’re not sure you understand what the child is asking, ask for clarification. Children are sensitive barometers of emotion and are tremendous observers. Fatherly has an excellent roundup of kids’ TV shows that help explain death and dying to your small ones. It's common for young kids to think that only old people die, for example. 'ds1: Yes, I will be busyds2: I will watch you die.dd: wail, wail, wail. Tell them that it’s not their fault that someone has died. Why do kids start asking about death in preschool? My four-year-old daughter has suddenly become obsessed with death. These questions were apropos of nothing; we hadn’t had a death in the family or lost a pet. How do I answer their many, many questions about death? Parenting can be a grind. i also told her that while most ppl die when they get old sometims ppl even children can die from accidents or illness but that this is very rare and she shouldnt worry too much about it!she seemed to accept this and doesnt really mention death that much now, thanks so much for all your posts....I thought my ds was really odd to be so woried about it at such an early age, but obviously not!I ended up in tears the other night after he was in bed because he just clung to me and wanted to know if I would miss him if he died!!! Six is somewhat of a transition age regarding a child's ability to understand death. For this edition, I asked three psychologists, two of whom have done research on children and their understanding of death, about why preschoolers ask a lot of questions about death, and how to best answer them. After you have responded to the question, make sure the child understands the answer you have given. By occasionally talking openly about death, you help your child learn how to cope with the loss of a loved one. Try not to overwhelm the child with information. She asked everyone she saw if they would marry her … Your child’s doctor may recommend a pediatric psychologist. My now ten year old used to ask random questions regarding death and dying at that age and even now comes out with questions about missing us when we die.The comments seem to come from no where and he hasn't experienced death of a person (only animals) We simply answer the questions, like you, simply and matter of factly and leave it alone. Some even play games in which someone pretends to die. She's beginning to realize that a life cycle includes both birth and death and that death is final. Lately though he's started asking if he could go to heaven to see his daddy. they are not obsessed with it in any worrying way they just want to understand. There's a good Shirley Hughes book about a cat who dies, and v. good on saying we remember what a lovely cat it was and what a nice life he had. He used to bring candy over to their house all the time, so Poltorak tells them, “Grandpa is probably up in heaven giving Jesus cavities.”. Preschool is the age of “why” in general, said Dr. Lauren Knickerbocker, Ph.D., a child psychologist at N.Y.U. Try classic distraction after addressing their questions clearly — let’s go paint! Here are some examples of questions children or young people may ask and the answers you could give. I got a book called "Badgers parting gift" but havent read it to him yet as it may just upset him more!Anyone else been through this? When our older daughter was 4, it seemed like she was asking us about death constantly. Talking about death will not cause your child to have morbid thoughts. I remember doing it when I was little too. Langone’s Child Study Center. Unless your discussion of death follows in the wake of a personal tragedy, the way you talk to your child about death should be similar to the way you talk about sex. Or, why don’t we read a book? It opens up a space for your kids to get answers to many of their pressing questions. 100x, I will be using your advice! Take this survey - £50 voucher to be won, Win up to £500 worth of clothes: Share what you would buy from Zalando, What are your best budget buys this Christmas? I think that it is a phase that most DCs go through at that age , it is also a subject that a lot of people are very uncomfortable talking about. I remeber her asking me if I will die and i explain one day, and she started crying, thren i cried I try to be as honent as possible. What was jarring was her matter-of-fact tone. Tiny Victories may be edited for clarity and style. When a parent dies, children often fear that the other parent or carer will die too – especially if the other person becomes ill. Young children may believe that all illnesses have the same outcome. And what adults sometimes don’t realize, because we’re inured to it, is that our kids are surrounded by death all the time: Cartoon characters die, the leaves on the trees die, an ant they smushed at the playground is dead. If you say something like, “Grandpa passed away” instead of “died,” it may confuse your child. David George, 4, wanted to watch Transformers on his own at his family’s Glasgow home, but was found unc… That breaks my heart as well.When my grandmother died they were quite matter-of-fact about it. Oh I think it's a phase lots of 4 y-o go through, I know all three of mine did.Depending on what they said - my line was usually: well lots of different people have different ideas. If a kid is anxious about death, “I would assure them of safety, health and everything within your family dynamic, then I would try to redirect from there,” said Poltorak. Is Grandma going to die first because she’s old?” And on and on. keep watching, it is mostly just the sound at the beginning but so funny. My youngest brought up this subject a few months back. - £200 voucher to be won. Talk widget showing discussions of the day & trending threads, Subscribe to Mumsnet emails direct to your inbox. Gawd. If you want a chance to get your Tiny Victory published, find us on Instagram @NYTparenting and use the hashtag #tinyvictories; or email us. Do not use euphemisms. Because they’re already so curious about the world, they see our reactions to their questions about death — our faces may blanch — and they pick up on that and want to dig deeper. My son has recently started making comments or asking questions about people dying. But one thing to remember is that for a 6-year-old, any number of things can lead to big feelings. Are they on a trip? So some think you go to Heaven, and some think you come back as something else - lots of discussion there - and some think that nothing happens - you have a lovely life and a jolly time, and then it finishes. When you have a death in the family, Knickerbocker and Poltorak both recommend that grieving children memorialize loved ones with art projects. Include your full name and location. He keeps saying he wants to live to 1000!! I'm getting morbid and sad now. “I recently talked to my 3-year-old about our houseplant that died,” says Schopen. So let’s celebrate the tiny victories. We avoid talking about things that upset us. It was terrible and I started crying too because when you think about it it is very sad and there is nothing you can do about it. but I think they all do it. In simple words. DD1 (3) got all teary in the car the other day. To want my cleaner to work New Year’s Eve? By submitting to us, you agree that you have read, understand and accept the Reader Submission Terms in relation to all of the content and other information you send to us. I cannot believe that so many professionals think a child of this age cannot understand death. I have been researching this recently because our 4 year old is asking a lot of death questions after over hearing that our friend was killed in a hit and run, and the one thing that was repeated was to never tell them that the deceased is "asleep" it will make them afraid to go to sleep. She wants to know if her grandparents will be dead when she is my age (probably). We’d be sitting at dinner and she’d ask a barrage of questions in a completely neutral voice: “When are you going to die? My DD went though this too, its hard. For a while after that he had the idea that people just pop off when they reach 100 LOL! Therefore, death should not be considered a taboo subject, and you should welcome any questions your child may have about it. Sometimes they'll say, "I can't wait to die so I can see cat1 and cat2 again". There have been no deaths in our family. Ever since then my 4 year old has been asking about death or just casually bringing it up now and then. It’s something she did with her own children. We had attended a few weddings, but it effected her personally when her preschool teacher told the kids she was quitting because she was getting married. They emphasized the concreteness of preschoolers’ thinking, so having something to work on like a scrapbook of memories of that person is helpful. Hilarious. So use the term “died,” even if it feels harsh. He clung to me as if he'd never let me go. She was in bed with us the other morning, and because I was pretending to be asleep, she stage whispered to DH "I think Mummy has died in her sleep, can I have this bedroom?". 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