Explaining death to a 3 year old

Discussion in 'Family Life - Stories, Pictures & Updates' started by tonini3059, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    As most of you know my mom passed away in October from cancer, I have a 5 yo niece and a 3 yo old nephew. My niece Ava never seems to ask question about grandma, but my nephew Nate does everyday. Ava will correct nate when he asks if they are going to grandma and pap pap's house and she will tell him grandma died and is no there. HE constantly brings up where she went and if she is coming back. The other day when I was babysitting he said Grandma is not at the hospital, grandma is not at home...grandma died...I miss grandma. So I just tell him that always remember that grandma loves him and did not want to leave. He knew my mom was very sick and he saw all the cuts from her surgeries, cause he loves boo boos and needs to inspect everyone and show off his. I just feel bad, cause he is so young and doesn't understand. The other day in the middle of the store he brought it up again and my SIL had to explain it again at the store that she is gone and not coming back.
    Any suggestions on how to explain death more to a child? My SIL is at a loss for what to tell him other than she is dead and not coming back.
     
  2. Sallyschickens

    Sallyschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Puget Sound Baby!
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2009
  3. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    Also she was cremated and there was no viewing and they never saw her after she died which I think is another reason he doesn't understand cause the day before she was talking to him and the next she was gone.
     
  4. Sallyschickens

    Sallyschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Puget Sound Baby!
    By the way, I'm really sorry. [​IMG]
     
  5. tonini3059

    tonini3059 [IMG]emojione/assets/png/2665.png?v=2.2.7[/IMG]Luv

    Nov 6, 2008
    Southwestern PA
    Thanks and thanks for the recommendation. I am looking it up online now!
     
  6. Sallyschickens

    Sallyschickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Puget Sound Baby!
    Your welcome, and good luck. [​IMG]
     
  7. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    at age 3, they are VERY concrete in their thinking.. you say Nanna is dead, they think "nanna is something-i-don't-quite-understand"... so they ask again later... My 3 year old doesn't understand death, but if you patiently remind her over and over again, eventually she will understand. SO my advice is to try to be patient, and explain as well as you can, if you believe in Heaven, it can really help, give her a solid place to imagine her Nanna in, instead of just a vague idea of gone...
     
  8. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

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    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    First of all, [​IMG] to you & your family for your tragic loss.

    It doesn't make much sense to us grown-ups either, does it? Sounds like you & SIL are doing a good job already with these little ones & all their many questions. Remember at age 3 kids need a lot of repetition in order to fully comprehend a concept, especially one as mystifying as death. And it may even ease his little mind to have the consistency of your answers to his repeated questions in the midst of this unsettling event in his life.

    I pray for comfort & healing for you all in your grief, and continued patience & wisdom in tending to these dear children.
     
  9. Chickerdoodle13

    Chickerdoodle13 The truth is out there...

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    When I was little, my parents used to explain death as that person leaving to be with god (If you believe this, otherwise I don't know how well this would work) and they would tell us that when we died we would see them again in Heaven. I was raised catholic, so that always made sense in my little kid's mind.

    If your family is not religious, then gentle reminders will eventually allow him to understand. That is a tough situation because a three year old is able to learn tons of information, but things like death just don't make sense. If a three year can't see "it", its not easy for them to connect two and two.
     
  10. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Here's how we explain it. If you are not a christian and don't believe in God then don't read it. We tell our 4 year old DD that God puts everyone earth to work for Him and when they have done the job He sent them to do, He calls them home to be angels to watch over their family. So now he (nephew) has an angel in Heaven watching over him and she will be there to greet him when his job on earth is done.
     

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