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What do children and young people really understand about dying?

Updated: Nov 23, 2021

This is a really good question and one which we get asked weekly here at OWF.

The answer is very different for each child or young person.

How much children understand about death will be different at different ages and stages of development.

❤️It will be different for some children who have lost a parent, grandparent or a loved one.

❤️It will be different for those children who have an understanding because they have lost a pet that they loved and cherished.

❤️ It will be different based on their own personal /family experience of dying.

There are some common understandings of death that children or young people might grasp because they see it in books or watch it on the television but these might brief understanding of a large and vast concept.

Children of different ages may find it difficult to grasp the concept that a baby or child has died because in life we do not teach about dying in this way.

Often we might explain that sometimes people or pets get old or ill and the doctors or vets are unable to make them better but rarely would we explain this concept to a child about a baby.

It is really important that we remember that all children are special and unique and therefore, they will respond to and understand death in their own special and unique way.

If we can help provide some advice or support please do get in touch.

Sending love & Support OWF 💙💗

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