Children and Death

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Let me ask you a question.  If your 2-, 3- or 4-year-old asked you where Grandma is, since she died, what would you say?

If you believe in heaven, you would probably say she’s there now.  If you think reincarnation is the truth, you would probably say she was coming back again in another form.  If you don’t believe in the continuation of life after death, would you say that Grandma no longer exists, that she just lives on in our memories? Or would you lie?

I recently discussed this question with some friends.  They took sides, of course.  One group thought absolute truth was the only way to go.  They thought telling lies to children was basically wrong and to be avoided at all times in all situations.  The other group thought such young children were too immature to deal with the emotional implications resulting from hearing about mortality.

I’d be very interested in hearing what you think about this subject.

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About treewithroots

Magda and Brent solve crimes and unravel mysteries on Mayne island. These exciting mystery/adventure stories for 9 - 13 year-olds, Magda's Mayne Island Mystery, Mayne Island Aliens and Mayne Island Skeletons, are available at various bookstores in the Gulf Islands. Amber enjoys reading to school classes. Teachers, please contact her if you'd like her to read to your class.

One response »

  1. For those parents who insist on utter and complete honesty with small children, why can’t they be really honest and say: I don’t know for sure, but I THINK, or I HOPE or I BELIEVE and then tell them your thoughts. If you tell them your belief as a FACT then they will surely call you on it sooner or later as they get older and hear conflicting beliefs claiming to be truth, as well as any other “facts” you’ve passed on to them along the way!

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