My grandfather passed away in May. My daughters and I traveled to NY for the funeral. They are four and six years old. This is the first funeral they had ever attended. I didn’t know how to explain death to them in a way they would understand. I had been a young child myself when I attended my first funeral. A fellow classmate had been killed in a bike accident. This was different. My grandfather was 95 years old. My younger daughter was unaware of the situation. She didn’t need to have answers.
My older daughter, however is wiser than most. She speaks from the heart. She knew that Papa was dead. She even tried to understand that his body was being buried in a wall but his spirit was no longer with us. She told me that “he was in Heaven with Jesus now.” I was amazed that she was aware of his death . We discussed it on the car ride to NY. I believe that withholding things from our children is one of the reasons why people fail at parenting. Kids have questions and they should have answers.
I don’t believe that you should reveal all your dirty laundry to your children. When the time is appropriate you should be able to share your experience with your kids. My children were present at the wake and the funeral of my grandfather. I remember watching my younger daughter and her cousin stand at the pulpit and touch my grandfather to see if he would wake up. We laughed at the time because we knew that he would have laughed at that.
In the world we live in today, most children do not have the luxuries that my children have. My girls know that they are blessed . It would be foolish to deny them the knowledge that they deserve because the world believes that we should protect our kids from the unknown around them.
“What they don’t know won’t hurt them.” Sometimes the truth is scary but knowledge is power and my children have the knowledge to understand things that sometimes even adults don’t understand.
This I believe children should have answers.