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At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

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wingsofsong
My 3 little loves <3<3<3

Member since 1/09

7395 total posts

Name:
Maureen

At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My father passed away 9 and a half years ago. My children never got to meet him (which absolutely kills me Chat Icon). He was the most incredible father and would have made an unbelievable grandfather. I want to make certain that my children will know all about him and exactly what kind of person he was. I want to share all the stories with them (and there are many!!) My boys are 3 and 1. I've recently brought my dad's name (referring to him as Grandpa "last name") up in conversation a few times and my 3yo is starting to become inquisitive about him. He's asked me a few times, "Who's your daddy?" and I'll say his name and then he'll say "But who's your daddy NOW?" So he's getting the idea that he is not here. Any question he has asked about him, I always answer him honestly. But as his questions are becoming more frequent, I'm not sure exactly where we should be heading with this. It's such a difficult thing to explain to a 3yo. Death is a hard enough concept for them to understand at that age, much less when it is someone they never even knew. But at the same time, I don't want to keep him a secret. I also don't know that I want to have a whole sit-down discussion with him explaining everything. Anyone have any advice? TIA Chat Icon

Posted 4/1/13 8:25 PM
 
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NervousNell
Just another chapter in life..

Member since 11/09

48599 total posts

Name:
..being a mommy and being a wife!

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

We have been talking about my MIL and showing DD pics of her since she was old enough to look at pics,etc
She is 2.5 now and we always show her the pic of MIL on the fridge and say- that is Daddy's mommy. that is your other grandma who is heaven.
(MIL passed away shortly after we were married)
Not that she can grasp the concept of death and heaven etc at this age, but we want her to know who she is/was and that even though she is not here with us anymore, she is still her grandma.
Now when we ask her she will say- that is daddy's mommy. My other grandma. Chat Icon
I think it's never too young to start talking about deceases realitives who would have played a major role in our DC's lives.

Message edited 4/1/2013 8:31:14 PM.

Posted 4/1/13 8:30 PM
 

My2Girlz11
LIF Adolescent

Member since 1/11

782 total posts

Name:
Corrie

At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My daughters are 4 and they started asking questions last year. We tell them they are with the angels. When they ask why we say because grandma or grandpa were very sick and the angels helped them feel better. They are at the why stage, so this can go on for awhile.

Posted 4/1/13 8:35 PM
 

NASP09
...

Member since 6/05

6030 total posts

Name:

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

I am also very interested in any advice. ..ds is only 1 so we are not there yet but I guess I will use pictures to spark a conversation about my mom who passed when he was 6 months

Message edited 4/1/2013 9:24:28 PM.

Posted 4/1/13 9:11 PM
 

chilltocam
LIF Adult

Member since 11/11

7961 total posts

Name:

At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

If it makes you feel any better, my cousin has been telling his son about his father (my uncle), who passed away many years ago, since he was very young. His son is now 14 years old and has a great understanding of who his grandfather was and loves him, almost like he knew him at some point in his life. I think what you are doing is a great thing and your children will grow to appreciate more and more as they get older.

Posted 4/1/13 9:14 PM
 

Chai77
Embarrassed to be an American

Member since 4/07

7255 total posts

Name:

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

I have many pictures up and talk often about my grandmother who I was very close to, she passed away several years ago. My 3 yr old DS just last night asked where she was now. These questions are so difficult. Children can't fully comprehend the concept of death. So I just said she couldn't be with us any more, but she is a part of us in our hearts and memories. He asked if she was at her house, and I said yes Chat Icon

I have wondered if I should just stop mentioning her. But I just know she is watching over us and would love to be a part of my kids' lives in any way she could. it's nice to hear the pp's cousin's son knows his grandfather so well, that is so touching.

Posted 4/1/13 10:24 PM
 

wingsofsong
My 3 little loves <3<3<3

Member since 1/09

7395 total posts

Name:
Maureen

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

Posted by chilltocam

If it makes you feel any better, my cousin has been telling his son about his father (my uncle), who passed away many years ago, since he was very young. His son is now 14 years old and has a great understanding of who his grandfather was and loves him, almost like he knew him at some point in his life. I think what you are doing is a great thing and your children will grow to appreciate more and more as they get older.



This is nice to hear. My best friend actually has a similar situation. Her grandfather died years before she was born. But her mom kept him so alive in memories that my friend has always felt so close to him her whole life. That's what I want to be able to do for my kids.

Thank you all for your responses Chat Icon Chat Icon

Posted 4/1/13 10:37 PM
 

2BadSoSad
LIF Adult

Member since 8/12

6789 total posts

Name:

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

I talk to my DC about my grandfather ALL the time, bc he was an AMAZING grandfather and I want them to know about him. I tell them that every person has a special job that God gave them to do on earth and when that job is done, that God has another special job for them to do in Heaven, which is to be our angel that protects us. I tell them it is the most important job ever, and that even though they go to Heaven and we can't see or hear them, they can see and hear us so we can talk to them. They seem to get that and it works for now. Im sorry and good luck!

I should add, that my paternal grandfather passed away before I was born and my father (or my grandmother) NEVER spoke of him. To this day, I wish I knew more about him. I know next to nothing, my father doesn't speak of him and my grandmother passed when I was 17, before I really had the appreciation of it all to ask. I understand though, my father has A LOT of guilt tied to his death. He passed away the day he got fitted for his tux for my parents wedding. When they got home, my grandfather asked him if he wanted to go get lunch and my dad said no, he had some errands to run. He came home and found him...massive heart attack. So bc of that, I don't ask bc I think it brings that all back up for him. Instead, I find myself reaching out to my fathers cousins all the time for stories, pictures, etc just to have something. So I think its a great thing that you want to talk about him to your children, I think it might be hard for them to understand at the get go, but the payoff in the long run will be SO worth it!

Message edited 4/1/2013 11:11:26 PM.

Posted 4/1/13 10:48 PM
 

TreAnt427
-

Member since 8/06

8634 total posts

Name:
Tracy

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My dad passed away when DD1 was just 15 months so she really has no memory of him.

I have always talked to her about him and she knows who he is. In fact my mom and I are convinced that she sees him.

DD2 is only 4 months and I already talk to her about him as well.

Posted 4/2/13 8:07 AM
 

PotofLuck06
Our Baby Boy Is Here!!!

Member since 11/06

13241 total posts

Name:
Betsy

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My brother passed away from cancer when my DD was 8-months old. She will have no memory of him, but there are many photos of her on his lap and asleep on him as an infant that are all around the house. When DD wants to go through photo albums or point out pictures on the wall, she knows exactly who he is and when we ask "Where is Uncle XX", she will point to him and even sometimes kiss the picture. She is just about 2 now and as she gets older, we'll share more stories about him. For now, though, we just state that he is Mommy's brother and he loved you very much from the day he learned you were growing in mommy's belly.

I feel that as long as you talk about the deceased person in loving terms, the child will grow to understand who the person was in Mommy/Daddy's life. That keeps the memory alive, not only for the child, but also for the parent.

Posted 4/2/13 1:08 PM
 

wingsofsong
My 3 little loves <3<3<3

Member since 1/09

7395 total posts

Name:
Maureen

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

Thanks everyone, I really appreciate all the responses and stores you shared. Chat Icon

Posted 4/2/13 10:16 PM
 

OverTheMoon
LIF Infant

Member since 8/12

80 total posts

Name:

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

DS is very small & won't understand for a long time, but I show him pictures of his cousin all the time & talk about him. I plan to continue this. When he begins to understand, I'll tell him his cousin is a very special angel who watches over him.

Posted 4/2/13 10:21 PM
 

luckysmom
Yes it is! Going as planned:)

Member since 6/07

5335 total posts

Name:

At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

DH talks about my mom to our kids and shows them pictures. I still can't talk about her like that to them, but they know that she's grandma. We have her picture hanging in the hallway and DH is always stopping at the picture saying "this is grandma". They're only 2 and 7 months so they don't really understand yet. I suppose when they are a little older, we'll explain everything. But for now, we'll just keep showing pics and stuff.

Posted 4/2/13 10:23 PM
 

MarisaK
HELLO Manolo !!

Member since 5/06

14562 total posts

Name:
Marisa

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

I never really gave it too much thought - I just talk about them like I normally would. And answer any questions they have about where they are, who they are etc etc.

DH's Grandfather died when my oldest was just 1 - we always talk about him, he recoginzes him from pictures, he knows doesn't live w/ GiGi anymore, he lives in heaven w/ God - and that he likes to play golf and drive his boat up there ...... and that he gave him the special cars that we keep on the shelf in his room - He refers to him as "Grandpa Jack" - he talks about him as if he knows him too ....

Chat Icon

Posted 4/3/13 9:49 AM
 

ABCiverson
<3 my family

Member since 1/06

7465 total posts

Name:
Amanda

Re: At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My first son passed away before my other 3 kids were born. We always mentioned him in front of the kids. He is still a huge part of our family. They started asking questions when they were 2. I answer them as honestly as I can. I never held back. My girls are 5 and 6 years old and they know my DS#1 story. They were visiting his grave by 3-4 weeks old(his grave is out of state or it would have been even earlier). It's just apart of their normal lives to discuss him.

Posted 4/3/13 10:39 AM
 

KwaaksNest
Love my boys!

Member since 6/10

2825 total posts

Name:
Samantha

At what age and how did you talk to your child about a family member who died before they were born?

My grandmother passed when my first DS was a little younger than two and she us to watch him while i worked full time...i make sure to tell him stories about her and have her pictures still up in the house. She was such a huge part of his upbringing it would kill me if he didnt know who she was

Posted 4/3/13 1:45 PM
 
 

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