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Suicide, when and how to tell the kids

(6 Posts)
Way Tue 07-Mar-17 23:30:20

Looking for personal experiences from parents in a similar situation and some time (years) on from my circumstances.
2 little ones young enough to believe what I've told them of their fathers death. However the truth needs to come from me at some point.

sailinggirl1780 Tue 07-Mar-17 23:45:43

Hello, I was 6 when my father died and 11 when I learnt it was suicide. I thought it might help if you heard from someone who's made it through. Feel free to ask any questions at all. Feel for you and what you have been through.

nursebickypegs Tue 07-Mar-17 23:46:29

I would wait until they are naturally curious, or old enough to understand and ask why isn't daddy here etc.

My auntie has numerous mental health problems and when I was 11, she attempted suicide and was sectioned. I was quite a young 11, I was just told my auntie had a breakdown. I saw her being taken away in handcuffs, my mum didn't know that at the time. I just thought it happened to someone when they were really poorly.

I was about 15 when my auntie got sick again, and my mum mentioned it in conversation.

I think it depends on the child. Like I said, I was a naive & young 11... always convinced my parents were going to die, worrying etc.

UnmanWitteringAndZigo Thu 09-Mar-17 14:42:54

Hi Way. I'm so sorry you and your children are going through this.

Winston's Wish has a booklet you can order about how to tell children about suicide. They also give some guidance online. When my sister died by suicide and needed to tell my kids about their aunt, I remember finding quite a few accounts online - I think via searching - of how children whose parent had died by suicide were sometimes told later on when appropriate. The gist was, if I remember rightly, that you can start by saying "You know I told you that X died from a heart attack (for example). Well, we explained it that way when you were younger because it's a difficult thing to talk about/explain, but now you're bigger I want to tell you a little more about how he/she died....". And then you start very basic (they decided to take their own life) and allow their questions to guide the rest.
How old are your children?

UnmanWitteringAndZigo Thu 09-Mar-17 14:50:32

Whilst I haven't been through anything like telling a child about a parent who's died by suicide, I've now told 4 children (aged 4 to 10 years) about a close and much loved aunt dying this way. I'm sure you'll have thought of all these things, but it was very helpful to me to have someone else there (e.g., so that you can talk to one child who has more specific questions without the other children if needed), and to have a specific set of activity options they like, to do afterwards (nice calm film; drawing; park, etc.).

Way Thu 09-Mar-17 14:54:07

Thanks for getting back
Now 7 and 4 at a year on now.
I've dabbled with WW and others (last night c4 thing was amazing). I find it all a bit back rubby TBH and I'm a pragmatist looking for 'what to do,how,when ' etc
Wanted to know what was damaging, helpful etc.
Have PM you and others here and got some answers, I know it's unique and diff for all of us. Hopefully I don't have to face it for some ears yet thankfully.
Sorry you'v had this in your life and thanks for your interest

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