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The death of a loved one is a stressful and sad time for all members of a family. During these difficult times, it is important to know how best to support your child.
Many different providers can help your child deal with the death of a friend or family member. They include:
It is also important for you to talk with your school-age child in ways they understand. This can help them deal with their grief.
Use concrete words such as “dead” and clear wording such as “her body stopped working.”
Avoid phrases such as “passed away,” “gone to sleep,” or “taken to a better place.”
Remember to include your religious beliefs when you discuss death with your child. However, avoid saying that God “took someone to be with him.” Your child may begin to fear that God will take them away, too.
Your child might have many questions about death. Answer the questions you can as clearly and honestly as possible. There may be questions you cannot answer. Be honest about that, too.
Here are some questions your school-age child might ask when a family member or friend has died.
These are some of the most common reactions school-age children have:
Reviewed: August 2022