Good Grief: How to Talk to Kids About Death at Every Age

Having to explain the loss of a loved one to a child can seem overwhelming, but it doesn't have to be. Here's how to talk to kids about death at every age (18 Photos)

Lesley Kennedy on Aug 6, 2012 at 5:35PM

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Be Honest and Upfront

Kraig Scarbinsky/digitalvision/getty

a Lesley Kennedy on Jul 19, 2012 at 2:18PM

Ignorance is not bliss when someone dies, Schonfeld says. While you don't need to provide excessive detail to toddlers and preschoolers, you need to offer enough information so that your child understands what happened. "If you overly simplify it, children may become even more confused." For example, saying 'Daddy was sick, so he died,' might make your child afraid that everyone dies when they get a cold. Instead try giving specifics such as, "There was something wrong with Daddy's heart and it stopped working, so he died." Then you can reassure your child that you (and other family members) have a healthy heart.

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