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4yo daughter scared of dying

(4 Posts)
boyse7en Thu 02-Jun-11 15:47:28

My 4yo daughter - who is in fine health and has only been to the doctors for immunisations/check ups - keeps telling me that she is scared of dying.

This usually happens when she is in bed, just before she goes to sleep, but has happened when we are playing in the house, or out for a walk.

Last time she said she didn't want to get big and grow up, because then you die.

I try and be sympathetic and dismissive at the same time, but I can't bring myself to say that it won't happen.

I'm not sure what to do. We've not had anyone particularly close to her die. Her cousin's grandfather died about 6 months ago, but she'd never met him. Her grandparents are all still alive, so its not like we discuss dead people in everyday conversation.

The rest of the time she seems to be as happy-go-lucky as any other 4yo.
Should I try and explain death somehow? I'm not religious, and wouldn't like to try and explain the concept of heaven, but I fear that the concept of ceasing to exist totally at some arbitrary time in the future would be even more upsetting for her.

Selks Thu 02-Jun-11 15:51:11

Is she scared of dying in a general sense, or scared that she might suddenly die e.g. if she goes to sleep?

Tyr Thu 02-Jun-11 15:55:10

Where do you think she got the fear from? Being sympathetic and dismissive is probably the best you can do. It will almost certainly pass.

boyse7en Thu 02-Jun-11 16:03:32

Its the general concept of dying that upsets her. She's not scared of going to sleep, or anything very much. Breaks my heart every time she does it though.

No idea. where the idea stems from. The closest she has got to death was when we had two cats die (of Cat Leukemia) when she was about 18 months old. We've spoken about that, and I explained that they were ill and the vet couldn't make them better and that they died. What I don't know is how (if that was the trigger) she has made the conceptual leap from cats dying to her dying.

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