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Stop lying to your children about death. Why you need to tell them the truth.

Discussing death with children often involves using euphemisms, but experts warn that avoiding honest conversations can harm trust. David Kessler, a grief expert, stresses the importance of providing age-appropriate truth when broaching the topic of death with children. Despite parents’ natural inclination to shield their kids from grief, it’s crucial to openly acknowledge and express emotions. As a child ages, conversations about death should evolve, maintaining straightforwardness while avoiding unnecessary graphic details.

The experience of Andrew Knapp underscores the impact of suppressing grief. Experts emphasize the need for children to express their emotions openly, especially since they often handle grief differently than adults, moving between sadness and play. To facilitate discussions about grief, experts recommend using age-appropriate materials, paying close attention to children’s expressions, and involving them in rituals, even for minor losses like a pet goldfish.

Acknowledging vulnerability and understanding the normal ebb and flow of grief is essential for both children and adults. Experts recommend embracing openness and honesty when discussing death, allowing children to navigate the complex emotions surrounding loss.

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