Is there a good way to tell a 9 year old child about the death of his grandmother?
My mother just passed away. Our nine-year old son was very close to his grandmother. Is he too young to hear about the death? How should I tell him?
Talking to a child about death is a very personal thing. Care should be given to speak appropriately for the age and circumstances of the child. Because of the sensitive nature of the topic, most of us are afraid – or at least hesitant – to discuss the subject with our children.
But death is a very real part of life. As such, it seems that talking about it within the safety and security of the family would be preferred over an uncontrolled conversation with people who may not have your child’s best interests at heart.
By talking in general terms about death, you can find out what your child knows and doesn’t know. We may not realize it, but most children become aware of death very early. They see it in aspects of the world. They are introduced to it through television and other forms of media. They hear about it in stories and fairy tales.
As you talk, you can give the child needed information that may be missing from their understanding. This can include feelings that your family has about death, as well as traditions that you support in your religion or culture. Talking does not answer every question or eliminate all problems, but it creates a safe environment for which the child can come and find support.