Monthly Archives: November 2014

Talking About Death With Children

There are certain conversations that no one likes to have with their children. Death is no exception. However, taking the time to discuss death with your children can make all the difference when a loved one passes away.

 

Do’s

 

There are a few things you can do to make talking about death with your child a little easier. If you have a loved one receiving hospice care in Las Vegas, the following suggestions will help you prepare your child for an emotional crisis and, ultimately, lessen the blow.

 

Do take advantage of unemotional moments.

 

Talking about death with your children is really hard when you’re in the thick of things. You’re grieving, and that can make it tough to explain death the way your child likely needs it explained.

 

You can get around this by taking advantage of moments when your emotions aren’t running so high. Talk about death to your children when you notice a dead bug, bird, or animal. This allows you to address your child’s curiosity without dipping into your emotional well.

 

Do remember that children are aware.

 

Children notice death all around them. Whether the source is the backyard or the television, your little ones are aware of death. Because of this, they will ask questions.

 

It’s important to make sure that you don’t make your child feel guilty or ashamed of their curiosities. Listen to your children, and show interest in what’s being said. If your children are coming to you with questions, the battle is half won. Speak honestly in an age appropriate way to make it a lot easier for your children to process death in the future.

 

Don’ts

 

There are also a few things that you want to avoid when talking about death with your children.

 

Don’t wait or avoid the talk.

 

Sometimes, it can feel like your children aren’t old enough to talk about death. That can tempt many parents to wait till later or avoid the conversation completely.

 

However, if your children are asking questions, they’re already aware of death. Chastising them for their questions, even when done mildly with honorable intentions, creates ill feelings in your children. This is when many children begin to develop taboos about death. Some children will even begin to avoid conversations about anything after a time.

 

While it may be uncomfortable, the better way to go is to address your child’s questions as they arise. Let them know that it’s okay for them to be curious and answer their questions transparently.

 

Don’t expect to have all the answers.

 

The biggest mistake parents make is thinking they’re supposed to have all the answers. Of course, you want to prepare your child for life’s harder moments as best as you can. Just don’t expect to have all the answers.

 

The best you can do is be honest with your children. If you have doubts about something, express that. Saying, “I’m really not sure about that, but here’s what I think…” is an answer that will always be more efficient than trying to come up with something you don’t believe.

 

Just remember: children are curious by nature. They’ll ask tons of questions that are likely to make you think of things you’ve never thought of before. That’s the beauty of children. Embrace this fact, and you’ll find yourself learning from them as well.

 

Talk about death with your children before the time comes. With a loved one in hospice, there’s no telling when that final moment will be upon you. If you’re still apprehensive about this conversation, ProCare Hospice of Nevada can offer additional support. For more information about available hospice services, contact 702.380.8300.

Helping Children Cope with Loss

More often than not, the people hit the hardest by loss in a family are the children. Their open hearts and innocently curious minds have a difficult time processing that someone they love and care about is not coming back. Thankfully, you can lessen the blow by helping children cope with loss before the loss takes place. If you have a loved one receiving hospice in Las Vegas, use this guide to talk with your child about the loss they are about to face.

 

Answer the Questions

Naturally, your child will have a number of questions about what is happening to their loved one. The following questions may be the hardest for you to address so here are our answers:

 

Why does {insert name} have to die?

The easiest way to address this question, in the case of death by illness, is to explain that your loved one’s body just couldn’t fight anymore. After the body fights for so long, it gets tired and wants to rest. If the child is very young, make sure to emphasize that they will not likely die every time they catch a cold. Many people manage to get better after they heal.

 

Is death like sleeping?

Explain that death, while it may look like sleeping, is very different from sleep. In sleep, your body still works. You still breath and your heart still beats. In death, everything stops. This is to prevent your child from being afraid to sleep at night.

 

Will {insert name} come back?

Young children have a difficult time grasping concepts that are set in the future. So, it makes sense that “forever” does not come easy to them. You will have to explain that your loved one has lived all the life they were meant to live. You may also have to explain that your loved one will not experience a cartoon-like regeneration some time down the line. Explain that your loved one cared for the child deeply, and the child will always be able to connect to that love through the beautiful memories in their heart that will never die.

 

Why did God let this happen?

Regardless of your personal faith, your child may ask this question. The only safe way to answer this question lies within the constructs of your family’s faith and religious beliefs. If you can’t come up with an answer that honors your child’s curiosity and your faith, consider seeking the help of the clergy available as part of the hospice care that Las Vegas offers.

 

When you choose Las Vegas hospice services, it is important to remember that children need to be cared for during this difficult time as well. Choose a friendly staff that is experienced in helping children cope with loss. For more information about the hospice care Las Vegas trusts with their children, contact ProCare Hospice of Nevada at 702.380.8300.