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CAG Parents - When should you talk to your kids about death?


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#1 Javery

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:36 PM

My grandfather passed away over the weekend and the funeral is this week. My 5-1/2 year old has not been exposed to something like this yet (thankfully) but she knew her great-grandfather. I want to teach my kids that death is a natural part of life and all but I also don't want to scare the shit out of them and get them all worried that something like this will happen to their parents. So CAGs with kids - what are you going to or did you do about this?

Edited by Javery, 25 January 2010 - 05:02 PM.


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#2 SpazX

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:54 PM

Tell her that old people just get really sleepy sometimes and in about 10 or 20 years he'll wake up again. Then by that time she'll already know you were lying - off the hook!

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#3 Emiroo

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 04:58 PM

^ LOL!

That's always a tricky one and I think it comes down to each kid's personality and how you think they'll take it.

My Dad died when my now 4 year old son was 6 months. Obviously we didn't have to address it at the time, but he recently asked if his "other Grandpa" could come to his school program. We explained that he had gone to heaven (which he had learned about some at church) and that he wouldn't get to see him until he goes to heaven too. My son seemed to accept that.

Has your daughter experienced a pet passing away or a friends pet passing away? That would be a good lead in. Also, check your library. There are some decent kids books with that theme. If I remember correcly, there's a good Arthur book where Buster's hamster dies and they talk about that.

It is indeed hard, because you want to tell them the truth but don't want to give them some irrational fears or phobias. It can really be a roll of the dice though. But definitely tell her something. Don't change the subject and let her ask all the questions she might have about it. If you make it an issue/taboo, so will she.

Good luck!

Edited by Emiroo, 25 January 2010 - 05:13 PM.

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#4 Quillion

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 05:12 PM

"In real life, there are no reset buttons or spawn points."

?

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#5 fatherofcaitlyn

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:27 PM

"In real life, there are no reset buttons or spawn points."

?


Apparently, you haven't read the strategy guide.
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#6 crystalklear64

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 06:44 PM

Bring up some Lion King shit. Yea you die, but you get to become food for the worms, which people use to fish, which feeds the people that can afford it. Those who can't afford it, well maybe you'll be lucky enough to feed them directly. Theres no reward for dying, so try not to die or kill yourself. Also, hope you weren't looking forward to social security. Enjoy your life kid.

Also, if you're not religious, don't cop out and use religion to establish morals/ideas about death for your kids. If you are religious, fair enough, but don't turn to religion just for the sake of ease.

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#7 crunchb3rry

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:30 PM

Buy them goldfish. Those fuckers will be dead in a week and then you can sit the kids down and explain it all.

#8 GuilewasNK

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:35 PM

My grandfather passed away over the weekend and the funeral is this week. My 5-1/2 year old has not been exposed to something like this yet (thankfully) but she knew her great-grandfather. I want to teach my kids that death is a natural part of life and all but I also don't want to scare the shit out of them and get them all worried that something like this will happen to their parents. So CAGs with kids - what are you going to or did you do about this?



Not to be too personal, but are you religious? Religion can help ease the explanation if you are religious to begin with. If not, I don't know if there is an easy way other than to explain it for what it is, the end of life.

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#9 ITDEFX

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:53 PM

Apparently, you haven't read the strategy guide.



And don't forget 10% with purchase of the main game lolz.


Not to be too personal, but are you religious? Religion can help ease the explanation if you are religious to begin with. If not, I don't know if there is an easy way other than to explain it for what it is, the end of life.



Yea I was going to say the same thing. What is your religion? You don't seem Muslim or Atheist or Goth.

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#10 JolietJake

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:57 PM

"In real life, there are no continues."

I enjoy the videos and puns posted by Joliet Jake. I think he's almost as funny as my favorite comedian, Dane Cook. Now excuse me while I listen to Fallout Boy's music on their myspace page.


#11 porieux

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:05 PM

"Life is a short and precious gift, that is why every day is so special. Now let's play more Demon's Souls*"

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#12 Z_meista

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:24 PM

Tell them when they ask about it.

#13 Guest_strongpimphand_*

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:45 PM

Just tell them the truth when they ask. Forget all this fairy tale crap.

And yes, they will have nightmares. And yes, you will have to comfort them. And no, don't have them sit front row at the funeral if they go (just free advice on that...)

#14 tankass

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:54 PM

[quote name='strongpimphand']Just tell them the truth when they ask. Forget all this fairy tale crap.
QUOTE]
Be careful though, theres a difference between not sugar coating it and being traumatizing. Being a church goer Id go the religious route, but if thats not game, try not to react too badly. I think its more about how you act than what you say. Act like its sad, but dont be overly dramatic in front of them because kids are better at picking up your emotional moods than you think. If you make it seem like it sucks, but its ok, they will get the vibe. Try and keep them from the ones that are devistated and cant cope at the moment, they are the ones that will be the scariest to them.

#15 n8rockerasu

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 11:58 PM

This is a really interesting subject that I just thought about when I saw the movie UP a couple nights ago. It was the first "children's movie" I can remember that showed a person's life passing by so quickly and then having their spouse die. Everything was shown so explicitly, I couldn't even begin to imagine watching that with a small child and having to field the question "Why is he sad? Where did his wife go?" I don't know. Maybe that kind of stuff goes right over a kid's head, but I sure don't remember Disney portraying life so realistically in the movies I watched growing up.

Honestly, I think the suggestion Emiroo offered was one of the best. Unless you just don't believe in an afterlife at all, I think using some explanation of "Heaven" is a gentle way to put it. None of it will be easy, but being honest and explaining what you truly believe will probably be the best for her in the long run. Protecting your kids from pain and sheltering them from reality is a very fine line.

#16 Koggit

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:23 AM

I'm not a CAG parent, so my advice is crap, but sometimes a little crap is better than no crap at all.

When I'm at this point with my kid(s), I will likely mention death only briefly, and then just answer questions. How the conversation goes down will depend on the questions asked. But there are two traits I'm positive this conversation will have:

No "sometimes" -- I hear this often in explanations to kids. "Sometimes, when people..." etc. No. No sometimes.

No beliefs -- only facts. I'm going to try hard not to let my opinion or the opinions of anyone else influence my kid's spiritual development. Spirituality is personal and should be the result of personal reflection. No matter how you frame your opinion, if your kid idolizes you, as most kids idolize their parents, stating your opinion will influence your kid's disposition. I'd let my kid know both sides of the "where's he now" story if asked: he is not inside his body anymore, some people think he went somewhere that we can't reach, while other people believe he isn't anywhere, but nobody knows who is right or wrong. I think it's very important that they understand nobody knows this answer, so that they don't later hear believers and/or non-believers stating their belief / non-belief as fact and become overly influenced by the authoritative presentation of it all.

My parents did a great job of that second point, and I really value that they did. Although I was sent to a Catholic school, my family let me know from a very young age that there are many things that nobody knows. This really helped me hear all viewpoints skeptically, both pro and anti faith arguments, and that skepticism really helped me define my worldview. So, yes, to each their own, but personally I'd steer clear of any "he's in heaven" type statements of fact.

Edited by Koggit, 26 January 2010 - 12:46 AM.


#17 BattleChicken

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 12:30 AM

Javeryh,

You know your daughter better than we do. It's a difficult situation, no doubt... Do you believe your daughter has the capacity to handle the revelation that things can go away and not come back? Is it necessary or helpful to risk the emotional scars at this point? No matter how you frame the news, your daughter is the one that will process it, and you won't be able to determine what her mind will do with the news until you give it to her.

Someone above suggested 'get a goldfish' -- that's a pretty good idea. It's a safe way to expose a child to death without the scope of 'this person is gone forever'. If your daughter will ask about her great-grandpa, that won't work.. but if she'll never ask -- IE, she didn't know him well -- bringing it up when she's so young may hurt more than help until she has more developed critical thinking skills.

#18 dafoomie

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Posted 26 January 2010 - 04:43 AM

When I was very young, they told me my grandfather went away to be Fred the Baker in the Dunkin Donuts commercials, maybe there was a slight resemblance but not that much. Even years later I would still say, oh look theres "grandpa" whenever one of his commercials was on. They never lived that one down.

#19 GamerLina

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 11:12 AM

i can understand your dilemma but believe the t.v has told already so much to our kids that we don't think they are ready for...so i would just tell them if ever the need arrives.

#20 Javery

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:38 PM

Well, we decided to just be as honest as possible with her. We explained what happened and she asked a bunch of questions that we answered without really sugar-coating it. She asked the biggie "Are you going to die?" and we just told her yes but she shouldn't have to worry about that for a long time. She didn't seem to be troubled by that answer. Her questions were quite surprising - she is much smarter than we give her credit for (and I think she is a little genius). We did not bring her to the funeral but we did bring her to the wake (but did not let her see the body). She was there to give my father some support and he was happy we brought the kids.

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#21 Strell

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 03:42 PM

Did you tell them about the gravediggers boiling his body to make their delicious soups? No? Well ok then.

/never passes up an offerin' of Dead Man's Stew


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#22 Stoic Person Eater

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 04:25 PM

Did you tell them about the gravediggers boiling his body to make their delicious soups? No? Well ok then.

/never passes up an offerin' of Dead Man's Stew

ROFL.

OP, glad you were able to speak to your daughter honestly. I think sitting a child down and explaining death to them, as biologically as they're capable of understanding and then answering their questions, honestly is the best bet. Death is something we must all live with.