Talking To A School – Age Child To Let Them Know Someone Has Died (ages 7-12)

The following is an excerpt from The National Alliance for Grieving Children (NAGC) Grief Talk: Talking to a Child or Teen to Let them Know Someone has Died.

Considerations For School-Age Children (7 – 12 years):

Review the child’s understanding of the person’s decline in health, leading to their death.

Use clear language. The finality of death is established during this stage; concrete direct language is essential.

Answer questions. There may be questions on the details of the death; provide age-appropriate information.

Ask the child how they want to participate: pick out flowers, help a sibling, walk the dog, create a photo collage, draw a picture to be placed in the casket, et cetera.

Be truthful to maintain trust with the child. ‘I don’t know’ is better than incorrect information.

Talk about self-care for when emotions get big; be an example of using coping techniques.

Establish a support person as a go-to when a parent or caregiver isn’t available.


© 2020 National Alliance for Grieving Children |

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