When an important person passes, it is common that the entire family will want to be in attendance; yet, what happens when the whole family also includes children, more specifically, your own child. Preparing a child for their first funeral is always a little tricky to navigate which is why we’ve done most of the heavy lifting and will provide tips and suggestions to consider. After reading this, you will be better prepared to attend funeral services with your little ones without any stress or worry. If you need cremation services in Barrington, IL we are only a phone call away!
Firstly, having a conversation with your child about
death is important, especially before taking them to a funeral.
Secondly, parents should prepare their children for
funerals by explaining what to expect and how to behave.
Lastly, seek out support from close family and friends
when introducing the topic of death to your child.
Have a Conversation
While it can be extremely uncomfortable, it is really important that prior to taking your child to a funeral you have a conversation with them about all that transpired. It’s understandable to be a little hesitant to broach the topic of death with your little one, as it is our instinct to want to protect our child from all things unpleasant, yet when it comes to the death of a family member, these conversations are crucial. Think of it this way, would you rather your child learns about death from someone at school or from someone they love and trust, such as yourself? We suggest beginning with simply letting them know that their loved one has died or passed away. If your child asks questions, be sure to remain open and answer them all truthfully and honestly. Avoid using language such as the deceased “is sleeping” as this is simply not true and can create a false belief that perhaps they will come back again. Be concrete about what has happened and be there to answer all of their questions and help them understand.
It is never really a good idea to simply bring your child to a funeral without having properly prepared them ahead of time. Prior to the funeral, we recommend that you brief them on all that is to be expected from the service. If your child is old enough to have a constructive conversation with, then be sure to explain the purpose of the funeral, what they can expect, and how people are expected to behave. You can let them know what is or is not allowed while at a funeral service and how you expect them to conduct themselves and respect the service. Additionally, if the funeral service will be an open casket, then you will definitely want to let your child know ahead of time. If they seem frightened by this, assure them that they are absolutely not required to approach the body and that they may remain in their seat for the entirety of the service.
If broaching the topic of death with your child makes you uneasy or stressed out, feel free to reach out to close family and friends for support. We recommend having people you trust with you when you introduce the topic so that they may interject wherever you get stuck and help guide you through the conversation. It is never a bad thing to seek out support when needed!
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