Monday, August 17, 2009

Do you talk to your kids about death?

Lately we've been trying to impress upon the kids why they need to follow certain rules for their safety etc. I read somewhere that kids don't really understand about the concept of death until they are like 12 or so. Our family believes in God and the hereafter so when someone we know has died we talk about them going to be with God but I don't think they really get it.

So last night we had one of those random conversations with the kids, you know how they just throw out some bizarre topic that has no relation to what we were doing.. in this case getting ready for bed.

E: "you have to stay off the road because a car could hit you"
Me "that's right."
E: "cause then you could die."
Daddy: "yes, that's why we tell you to stay with us and not run on the road."


J pipes up "I'd get flat"
Me: "Huh, what do you mean sweetie"
J: "If I got rund over by a car,I'd be flat."

Me trying not to laugh... "yes, you'd probably be flat."

E, ever the optimist pipes in : "and dead"
J: "I'd be dead but then I'd wake up"

Me: "no sweety, you wouldn't wake up any more."
J was surprised... "I wouldn't wake up?"
Me: "no and mommy's heart would break if that happened."
J: "your heart would break?:"
Me: "yes it would. My heart would break."

And with that all three of us had tears in our eyes at the thought of one of us never waking up.

That got just a little heavy before bed. Maybe that's why E dreamed that I was being chased by a dinosaur who was trying to eat me... that or it could have been because we took her to the new Ice Age movie on Saturday. *L*


  1. That is heavy. There are suppose to be books and stuff out there to teach your kids safety without scaring them.
    Though I took the "I'll whip your ass black and blue if you do something dangerous" approach. Yeah, that'll hold.

  2. Hard subject. We had to deal with it when the ants from the ant farm all moved on to greener pastures. We explained they were in heaven.

    "With the dinosaurs?" she asked.


  3. We have started talking about with our 4-year old. I don't think she gets it completely but she does understand that other people get sad when someone passes away.
    She did have to to ask, though, if passes away and being dead are the same thing.

  4. No matter your age, death is always a hard topic to discuss. Take for instance my husband who refuses to talk about it! LOL!

  5. Awwww, that's such a sweet conversation but also sad at the same time. I could see why it upset you both.

    My kids have a hard time understanding it too. When all the Michael Jackson death coverage was going on (and still going on....), the kids were asking about it so I tried to explain it the best I could. Then we heard one of his songs on the radio and they were like, "How can he be singing on the radio if he's dead?". I just's such a complicated subject to get into with young children!

  6. I think you're doing the right thing to go ahead and start talking about death with them, so it's not mysterious. When I was a small child we would hold funerals for dead worms, snails, etc. and have a graveside service, and talk about our friend going to heaven. Sounds silly, but I think it helped us understand. When my neighbor's poodle was run over and killed, we held a funeral, cried, and talked about doggy heaven. Skip ahead to when I am 9 and my grandfather died - incredibly painful time, but I think I was better prepared because death was never a taboo subject.


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