Often, parents may fear that bringing a child to a funeral is inappropriate, but it is important to recognize that services can help young ones say goodbye to loved ones and show respect for the deceased. Parents and guardians should consider the following when deciding if bringing a child is appropriate:Does the child know what to expect?
In order to ensure that your child is prepared for a funeral, take time to brief them on the subject and what the event will be like. Supporting your child through the experience is critical to ensuring they understand what is happening. Make sure to remind them that other guests may cry, and that if they feel sad that it is alright to show those emotions.
Can the child sit still?
When attending general events, children can often expect to take a break with their parent if they need one - especially if they tend to get antsy. However, it is important to explain to the child that they must be prepared to sit through the service in order to show respect for the deceased. Services can have various lengths, so be sure that your child is able to sit without causing distraction for an extended period of time.
Do they know about death?
Discovering concepts of death and mortality can be unsettling for children, and it is important to talk through these challenging ideas with them. Parents are encouraged to have a discussion about death before a service so that the child is fully aware of what is happening.
Continuing the Discussion
Parents and guardians should be prepared to continue discussing the process of death and the emotions involved with losing a loved one. Be sure to encourage children to express their thoughts and ask questions. Grief counseling can be an exceptional way for parents and children to explore these complex feelings in a healthy manner.