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27

To directly answer your question: if the topic comes up a potentially good answer would be "well my father/husband passed away a long time ago". The "a long time ago" basically indicates that this is in the past and has no immediate bearing on the present. It also indicates that the case is closed and you don't want to discuss this further. Most people will ...


19

Great question. I can't answer what you should tell your child, as that is largely dependent on your beliefs, but can try and give you some pointers on how you could talk to your child. Whatever it is you belief, we found it helped us to talk to our son (5 at the time) in as simple and direct terms possible, and to not be overly emotional ourselves. Of ...


18

When all else fails, they can fall back on a version of Miss Manner's timeless response, "I'm sorry, that's just not possible." In this case, something along the lines of "I'm sorry, I don't want to talk about it," or "This subject is still painful for me, can we talk about something else?" might be useful. Don't expect everyone to have manners and not ...


17

I understand death of a parent can happen to any child, but is it right to pretend we don't know what's coming? Unless your kids are incredibly dense, they are going to figure it out sooner or later, and probably sooner. The only question is where are they going to get their information from. I was diagnosed with MS two years ago when my kids were 7, ...


12

I would definitely tell him in advance, to give him a chance to process the fact in time, and to say goodbye to the cat. Morah made a good point about leaving the sickness out of the explanation, that may be one strategy. However, my feeling is that telling that the cat just died, without any clear reason, may be equally frightening for the kid if he has a ...


11

I have no idea what any kind of "best" action could possibly be. What I would want to make sure of is that no matter what interaction I have with my kids about the death of their other parent I want to be clear what is happening inside me (and deal with that) from what is happening inside them (and help them deal with that). They are two different aspects of ...


11

As an adult you may be comfortable saying, "It's not something I like to talk about," but this will be a harder line for your children to say and stick to when pressed. You might suggest to them to say, "He had some health issues I don't really understand." This is the truth, as someone who commits suicide has serious mental health issues and no one can ...


11

It's possible that she is just being dramatic and doesn't actually intend to hurt herself. If so, great, but there's likely still some truth to what she said: she feels like she isn't getting attention, and/or she feels like she isn't valued and loved. The fact that she's been increasingly sensitive to criticism indicates this if nothing else. However, it's ...


10

Above all, be honest. Tell your children the basics Use matter-of-fact language Be open to their questions Use language that they'll understand I know this isn't easy, but it will help them prepare for the future if you help them understand as best you can. Children can be remarkably resilient, and the trust you build with them through honesty will be ...


10

From my experience with children, especially young children, the simpler is better. If I was in your situation, I would explain to the children that some people make bad decisions. I would explain that some bad decisions are worse than others (like throwing a toy in the house is “bad decision”, but choosing to hurt somebody else is a “very bad decision”). ...


10

In my opinion, "sealing the bedding with a strong polythene sheet" presents a significant risk of suffocation -- not SIDS, just plain asphyxiation. Most infant mattresses are deliberately covered with a mesh webbing underneath the cotton surface with the explicit purpose of allowing the baby to breathe even if it turns face-down during sleep. Try it for ...


9

I am not an expert, but would like to supply some resources that you might find helpful at the website of the American Association of Suicidology. It has: a Suicide Loss Survivors page with a lot of great resources on it. links to support groups in each State (not sure if you are in the States) a monthly newsletter (which may help you feel not so alone ...


9

To add to @Korneel's answer: After starting to understand death's permanence, our daughter became very worried about my wife and I dying. The most important things we've stressed to her about it is that: Nobody gets to choose when they die Despite that, we don't plan on dying anytime soon Even if we did, that they would still be cared for and loved by ...


8

What should you do? I don't have a scientifically proven answer - I just can tell you my experience, as we already have had many such conversations (even at an early age). I think you should talk as openly as possible (and necessary) about death to her and you should show her (if possible) that it makes no sense to be afraid of death as it is (partly) ...


8

Few studies have been done on this topic, and mostly the papers written on it have emphasized the destructive consequences of not telling children the whole truth promptly after death. Mostly those studies were done in the 60s and 70s, at a time when it was quite common not to tell children, and the damage done includes distorted mourning processes and ...


8

I think this depends on the child. For my older son (also 3, and recently went through a Ghosts stage), who's fairly intelligent and straightforward, I would approach this intellectually. I would certainly not be inconsistent about it, whatever you do. If you're alternating "playing zombie" with "zombies aren't real", you're going to confuse him; while ...


8

in other circumstances, I feel compelled to tell him, "Zombies are not real, your brother is just trying to scare you, it's time to go to bed." Second part first. Yes, you should try to convince him that zombies aren't real, but it probably won't take. It certainly doesn't hurt to try. It doesn't matter what he's afraid of (the monster under my bed ...


7

We adopted my son Michael out of foster care, which is a completely different situation, but also has a certain stigma attached. People want to know how he ended up in foster care. What we tell people is that is Michael's personal information to share or not share as he chooses, and that we will let him make that decision for himself when he is fully ...


7

The American Academy of Pediatrics has specific recommendations for infant bedding, with the goal of reducing instances of SIDS (a.k.a. "crib death" or "cot death"): Always place your baby on his or her back for every sleep time. Always use a firm sleep surface. Car seats and other sitting devices are not recommended for routine sleep. Keep soft objects or ...


7

I was a depressed child. I didn't like myself much until I was in college. Childhood depression is often ignored and marginalized but it is still real depression (people often minimize it- suggesting that children never have anything to feel depressed about as they have few responsibilities and are given a lot of indulgences). What I would do if I were in ...


7

My dad died 3 years ago from cancer, I was 24 at the time. Let me first say that it sucks, and I feel for you, but you don't need to be told that! I was lucky in a sense, because my mother-in-law (I got married a week after he passed away; it was a busy time in my life!) also lost her dad early in life, and she helped me figure out what I needed to do. ...


6

all the guidance we got suggests that putting plastic wrapping anywhere near a mattress is a very bad idea. Like Chrys says, you do not get 'nerve gases' from mattresses, and in fact letting air get through a mattress is a much better idea. Babies should not have a pillow, but should be laid on the mattress, with one breathable blanket under them. This ...


6

This is an interesting question because it pertains to all expressions of sympathy. I'll presume the dialogue was included to try to make sense of the interaction and her feelings, so an appropriate message can be sent. One of the more helpful explanations of the principles of expressions of sympathy is that comfort should only flow in one direction, and ...


5

My take on it (for adults and children alike) goes something like this: Many people feel that they deserve a better life than they have, and most of the time they are correct. Most people also tend to split the world into "Us" vs "Them", because it makes the world much easier to understand. Most of the time they are wrong, and the differences they think ...


5

I came across a TED talk about the psychology and motivation of terrorists: By leading the Americans in his audience at TEDxPSU step by step through the thought process, sociologist Sam Richards sets an extraordinary challenge: can they understand -- not approve of, but understand -- the motivations of an Iraqi insurgent? And by extension, can anyone ...


5

These conversations can be tough! Here are a few books on the subject: When Dinosaurs Die: A Guide to Understanding Death (Dino Life Guides for Families) by Laurie Krasny Brown What Happens When Someone Dies?: A Child's Guide to Death and Funerals (Elf-Help Books for Kids) by Michaelene Mundy Water Bugs and Dragonflies: Explaining Death to Young Children ...


5

I'm not sure that telling him that they aren't real is going to make him feel any better, because to him it is scary and might as well be real. The best thing you can do for him is help him feel empowered against the zombies. Let him know that you will always protect him from zombies and that he doesn't have to worry. As long as you are around he will be ...


5

This actually depends entirely on your culture, and your child. In many cultures, kids are kept very segregated from the deceased. In others, they may be a core part of the family group at an open casket wake. And in others, they may help care for the body as it lies in rest prior to being buried etc. I have taken my kids to funerals of their ...


5

Hi, how are you today? Or, if you really feel the need to say something. I wanted to say that I am sorry for your loss. If you want to talk about it, I am here. And if you don't, I will respect that. In the conversation you posted, your daughter told you to stop talking about it three times, the last time very directly. People deal with loss ...


4

I actually got this questions from my 6-yo son couple of days ago. I told him that there can be a group of people who are extremely disagree with the government. They only way to change things that they see is to explode things, kill politicians and to scare people. Such members of such a group are called "terrorists".



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