How to explain the concept of death to toddlers and preschoolers?

We all know that death is inevitable and it will come to all of us as well. However, explaining the concept to toddlers and preschoolers can be quite difficult.

However much you feel that broaching the topic is tough, you need to start having these conversations with them early in life. This teaches them to grow up emotionally mature and embrace and celebrate the departed soul.

Says psychologist Jazmine McCoy on death talk with toddlers and preschoolers,

As awkward and painful as these conversations are, have them early. Children will naturally grow curious so answer their questions as best as you can. Be matter of fact. Hold the space.

How to broach the topic of death when it comes to toddlers and preschoolers

Let’s now turn our attention to how we can safely and understandingly broach the topic of death with our little ones.

They understand emotions

While our little ones may not fully understand the exact concept of death, they do sense the various emotions that we go through when a loved one passes away.

Letting things go

Just as they learn that giving up spoilt food and dead bugs is the best for them, similarly teach them that they have to let go of the loved one who has departed from this earth.

Don’t have any euphemisms

Refrain from having any euphemisms when you are about to discuss the concept of death with your little one. Instead, just deep dive into the conversation and explain the concept to them calmly.

Keep the language simple

Avoid using heavy language when discussing a fragile topic with toddlers and preschoolers. Ensure that the language you use is short, factual, and concrete. Additionally, teach them to value the departed souls and always remember them in their hearts.

Be patient with them

If your toddler or preschooler is continuously referring to death in their conversations with you, understand that it is their way of dealing with the grief that the loved one has given them after departing.

Thus, this is how you can spark a conversation regarding death with your little ones. Just be sure not to give them too much of a shock or push them into depression at such a tender age.

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