How does one explain death to younger siblings?

How does one explain death to younger siblings?

Younger children think concretely so you need to explain it in that manner. Be honest and clear with your answers.

For instance, if their and your mom died, talk about how her heart stopped working or how she couldn’t breathe, and explain how that caused her body to stop working. Keep in mind that this does not need to be described in graphic detail; yet, the basic causes of her death should be stated.

You should also explain that she is dead and why she won’t come back. Avoid using euphemisms when explaining death, like saying, “She went to sleep,” or, “She is lost forever.” Because younger children think so literally, your younger sibling might not understand such phrases. If you believe the person who died did love your younger sibling, then you may want to mention how she loved your sibling, and how much you will also miss your mom.

–Judy Schiffman

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