Helping Your Child Deal with the Death of Their Sibling

Dealing with DeathDeath can be confusing for a young child. This is especially true if the one who passed on their sister or brother. Understandably, it is typical of a parent to fear to speak of it. However, there are effective ways to ease the pain of a sibling's loss if done with care.

Be Simple and Straightforward

Tell your child as soon as you can, while being direct and factual with your explanations. Find a parallel experience for comparison, like the death of a pet or animal. You can also specify what they cannot do anymore because of what happened.

Encourage Questions

Allow them to ask as many questions as they can or until they are satisfied with the answers they hear. Remember to avoid using any negative words or descriptions. Don't discourage them if they keep asking questions in the next few days, even if some of them are repetitive.

Share the Burden

Some adults may not want to show how they feel. But sometimes, allowing yourselves to cry while hugging your kid is great therapy for you both. When making the funeral arrangements, noted that it's best to ask your child if they want to be at the ceremony and internment. If they say yes, then let them. If not, don't force them and let them watch from afar.

Allow Emotions

It's okay to be sad and that is true for anyone of any age, especially with kids. Stemming emotions do more harm than good. Letting them cry, while you hug and comfort them is a good way to start releasing the hurt. Eventually, they will start to heal and you might be surprised that you will too. After all, comforting other people can eventually affect you positively as well.

Family members, whatever age they might be, have a right to be part of their family's experiences. This is true of both fun times and tragic moments. Allow your child to be part of the tragedy if they want it. After all, it is their right since they are family.