It can be hard for parents to talk to their children about the death of a fellow classmate. As a parent, you need to know how to approach the situation so that you can help your child deal with the loss of their classmate. Here are some tips to help your child deal with the loss of a classmate:
Think about how old you child is- children under the age of ten usually have a harder time understanding what death is. You need to discuss what happened to their classmate in as simple terms as possible so that they can fully understand the situation.
Talk to your child about what a funeral is- many children have never attended a funeral. A funeral can be a scary situation especially if it is an open casket funeral. You need to explain the things that typically happen at a funeral. It can be a very emotional situation to attend the funeral of a child so ask your child if they feel like they should attend the funeral. You should tell them that it is okay not to attend the funeral and that they can say good bye to their classmate in private.
Discuss the situation with other parents- you should talk to other parents about the situation. This will let you see if other parents have decided to let their children attend the funeral. It can help you make up your decision regarding whether or not to take your child to the funeral. It can be hard for children to see a child in a casket so you should take that into account when making your final decision.
Assess how well your child knew their classmate- if your child did not know their classmate very well then you should consider not having him or her attend the funeral. Funerals for children can be very trying on everyone involved. The parents of the student who passed away will be very upset and heartbroken so you might want to purchase flowers or a card to send to the family and have your child write a special message. This will help the child at least offer the family condolences even if they do not attend the funeral.
Talk to you child about their emotions- your child will ask why their classmate died so young and will wonder if they will also die. You need to explain that everyone is going to die some day and that some people die earlier than others but that you have to live your life to the fullest and be grateful for the time that you have right now.
As a parent, even you will have a hard time dealing with the fact that your child’s fellow classmate has died. Every parent hates to see a child die because they always ask themselves what if that child had been my child? You need to try and help your child grieve so that they can move on with their life and be as happy as they can be.