Should toddlers be allowed to attend funerals? This is a typical but crucial question for parents, and the answer depends less on your child’s age than on their maturity and how you communicate with them. If you lose someone close to your toddler, you may want to consider accompanying your child to the funeral. When making a decision, consider the following criteria.
Make an effort to observe your toddler’s actions
The mannerisms of your infant are a crucial factor to take into account as well. It is less likely that your child will be disruptive at a funeral if they can sit quietly and quietly for extended periods. It’s generally best to hire a sitter if your child is hyperactive or obstinate when bored.
First and foremost, you should show consideration for the bereaved family. When it comes to a toddler’s naturally exuberant behavior, your own family is more likely to be accommodating than a coworker’s family.
It’s possible, though, that other children will be there or that youngsters are required to participate in ceremonies around life and death (culturally or otherwise). You can make a big difference in your decision-making by making a few phone calls to people you know attending.
Consider Other People’s Behaviour
Your child’s behavior isn’t the only thing you should keep an eye on. While funerals can be serious and contemplative, they are also occasions where individuals are understandably overcome by their feelings of grief and loss.
A lot of people are going to be sobbing, and some of them will be crying openly and saying things that your toddler might find terrifying. The funeral may not be the greatest place for your toddler if you know they are susceptible to others’ feelings. Start talking about it as soon as possible if you don’t know how your child will respond.
Attending a Funeral with a Toddler
As soon as feasible, bring up the subject of death. If you’re worried about bursting into tears because you’re feeling overly emotional, wait until you’ve had some time to grieve before engaging in a dialogue.
Because these things take time and your toddler needs to know that it’s OK to be sad about death and loss, you shouldn’t try to wait until all or most of your grief has subsided before you begin talking to your child. Make an effort to comprehend your child’s current level of comprehension. If you can, draw inspiration from similar scenarios; if not, start from scratch.
Explain death in the most basic terms possible. (As an illustration, you may remark, “A family member of Mommy’s has passed away. That means she’s no longer here, and we won’t be able to find her again “( 1. Be as specific as possible and steer clear of ambiguous terminology (such as “passed on,” “expired,” or “departed”).
It’s best not to inform young children that the deceased has gone to sleep or that they will never wake up again.
Sleep is such an integral part of your child’s existence may cause them to fear that they or you will go to sleep and never wake up. It’s fine to put the subject of death on the back burner for the time being and bring it up again if your toddler asks any more probing inquiries.
If it doesn’t seem to be sinking in, don’t keep harping on it or make an effort to elicit a reaction. It’s unlikely that a situation this intricate will be understood right away by a toddler. Keep things basic for the time being, and be on the lookout for ways to provide more clarity in the future.
Discourse on the Ceremonies
You’ll also want to have discussions concerning the event. Let them know what will happen during the funeral, just like you’d talk about a doctor’s appointment or a trip to the fair.
Consider what they will wear, where the service will be held, and who will be in attendance so you can establish a connection with them immediately. Prepare your students for any emotional situations, such as crying or a distressed crowd. Even if you’ve laid out your expectations for how they should act, keep in mind that even in the best-case scenario, a toddler is unpredictable.
To ensure the safety of everyone involved, you should be prepared to remove your child from the service if required. Having a friend or babysitter accompany you to the funeral is an excellent idea if you’re worried about your toddler becoming bored or boisterous during the service.
Consider the length of the service and bring snacks, beverages, and other comfort items. For diapering and potty needs, it’s important to know where the bathrooms are.
Leaving a Toddler at Home
Don’t panic if you have to leave a toddler at home first. Your kid doesn’t seem to grasp the concept of closure. They won’t see a resolution for months or even years. You’ll have to explain things to them as they get older, especially if the person who died was close to them (like a parent, aunt, or sitter).
The experience of other deaths and losses, major and minor, also aids in the process of closure. A close friend moving away, the death of a pet or a plant, or other life experiences might help a person better comprehend what it means to be grieving.
Start a dialogue with your child as soon as you feel emotionally capable of doing so. However, don’t worry about shedding a few tears. Your youngster must understand that feeling sad is a normal part of life.
Be mindful to address any emotions your child may be experiencing. You shouldn’t count on them to respond how you expect them to.
One of the most prevalent emotions they will express is a longing to be with the deceased and a sense of loss at their loss. However, don’t discourage children from expressing their feelings about the deceased individual, whether it be sad, pleased, or furious.
A short memorial service for your child alone or with other youngsters who knew the dead and didn’t attend a funeral is always an option. You may subsequently bring flowers and a card or drawing your child made to the grave, or you could start a new family custom to honor and remember the deceased.
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