Funerals can be scary for children but in modern life where parents shield their kids from anything potentially upsetting are we preventing our children from understanding the fundamentals of life and death?
Recent surveys show around 50 percent of people think it’s inappropriate for young children to attend funerals. It hasn’t always been that way. Not too long ago, the cycle of life was played out at home where everyone, including children, would pay respects to their dying family member and attend the funeral.
We came across an interesting story that weighs the pros and cons of the issue.
It’s a complex topic that’s not just about the child, many parents feel they can’t grieve and parent at the same time. Rachel (38) didn’t let her young children attend their father’s funeral, “It’s easy to imagine the potential damage. I was in pieces and needed to be; that alone would have caused harm.”
On the other hand Emma (41) believes missing her father’s funeral as a child froze her grieving process. It was only after she began going to funerals later in life that extreme sorrow descended. “After receiving counseling, I realized I was still grieving for my dad.”
In the end, it’s up to you to know what is best for your child. If you do bring a child to a funeral, take steps to prepare them.
- Make sure they understand the concept of death
- Make sure they know the funeral’s purpose
- Let them know what is appropriate behavior
- Children rarely see adults cry, it’s important they know it’s okay
- Choose someone who can take them if they can’t handle being there
- If a child decides not to go, have alternate ways to say goodbye
Read the full story here.