What do I tell my 3 year old

(28 Posts)
jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:01:09

I've just lost my brother
What do I tell my 3 year old when she asks about him . So far she has not said much . BUT WHAT DO I SAY !!??

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Jill60 Tue 02-Oct-07 20:06:17

So sorry jozoe sad
When FIL died unexpectedly we told dd that he had gone to a special place where he was very happy and could see us but we couldn't see him and we couldn't go and see him there. Kept emphasising how happy he was there and how he could do all the things he liked doing. Don't know if that helps at all.

Sorry again for your losssad

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:21:05

we lost him at the beginning of sep and she hasn't said anything til today . She saw him bike at my m & d's and said oh i haven't seen him for a long time . Whether she know's and is just not saying anything !!??

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Twigaletto Tue 02-Oct-07 20:22:22

try the 'hand in glove' story .. its a good level for 3 year olds IMHO

Twigaletto Tue 02-Oct-07 20:24:34

I'm sorry for your loss


By Twiglett on Fri 21-Jul-06 20:48:17
I put a hand in a glove (well in a sock cos I couldn't find a glove)

I said to DS .. "this is you .. the glove is your body" (wiggling fingers all around), "but the hand is the bit that is really you and some people call that your soul or your spirit" (keep on wiggling)

"when you die your spirit goes on" (gently take hand out of glove and make it keep wiggling and swooping around .. tickling him works too as you gently lay the glove down on the ground)

keeping his attention on the hand swooping I said "when you die you don't need your body any more so your spirit leaves it behind" .. spirit hand keeps swooping and talk descends into tickling

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:24:40

where do i find that ??!!!

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jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:27:32

sad dont think i can do that just yet . You nearly had me in tears

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Twigaletto Tue 02-Oct-07 20:32:02

sorry but when you are strong enough to face it .. you can't hide death from small children I don't believe

last week both my husband and my 6 year old had bereavements .. I know what I'm talking about

KristinaM Tue 02-Oct-07 20:32:05

you do need to say that he is dead and that she cant see him anymore. that everone is very sad and they will cry and thats ok.

explain the circumstances in a basic way eg he got very ill and the doctors coudlnt make him better or he had an accident and was very badly hurt etc

just to to warn you...she may ask lots of pratcical questions .like what happens to teh body / in a box/ in a fire, can you see soemone who is dead, can they talk/ be hungry etc

while these can be shocking and distressing to an adult they are quite normal in a child. our DD asked a lot of these things when her brother died when she was 5 ( i knwo your Dd is a bit younger)

she may not seem upset in teh way you might expect. small children process things differently eg its quite common for a child who loses a parenst suddenly not to cry but to ask things like " so who will take me to school / make my tea?"

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:32:24

but that is a good idea smile

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jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:36:50

we haven't said anything so i think its time we faced it . I just dont want her to worry about it . She is being really senstive about thing at the mo . " like what her friends say to her"

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nell12 Tue 02-Oct-07 20:37:35

We are quite a spiritual family and when my mum died ds was 5. We told him that Nanny had gone to live in the clouds with Grandad Ted and he seemed to accept that. We told him that although he could not see her, she would always be watching over him. My mum loved spiders and to this day, whenever ds sees a spider, he says "hello Nanny"

DD is nearly 3 and asks about Nanny (even though she has never met her) she seems very happy with the cloud concept as well and even mentions the fact that our guinea pig is up there as well smile

It may not work for everyone, but it works for us.

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:43:57

do you know of any books ?? that are good

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Twigaletto Tue 02-Oct-07 20:48:31

there's a book about mayflies / dragonflies or something .. can't remember.. will try to

Michael Rosen's Sad book is a good one for discussing feelings --- but be warned it will really get to you from the first page

MaryAnnSingletomb Tue 02-Oct-07 20:50:13

very sorry to hear that jozoe sad - I recommend Frog and the Birdsong by Max Velthuis - hope I spelled the surname properly - it's sweet and gentle and very simple.

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:50:46

I'll go in to the libuary and have a look thank you smile

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Twigaletto Tue 02-Oct-07 20:54:07

I'm thinking about Sad again .. it might be for slightly older children tbh .. as its about understanding other people's feelings really

lomondgal Tue 02-Oct-07 20:56:09

I am so sorry for your loss x

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 20:59:36

I'll ask at her pre-school tomorrow as they said they would get some books in .

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PatsyCline Tue 02-Oct-07 21:01:01

I'm so sorry that you lost your brother.

I think honesty is the best policy with children. We knew that my DD2 might die after she was born (50/50 odds) and so I bought a book called 'Frog and the Birdsong' and read it several times during my pregnancy to my eldest daughter who was then four. It's just a simple story about the cycle of life. My DD1 really got 'it'.

I am pleased to say that our DD2 is still very much with us, but I am still glad that I read the book with DD1. It gave her an opportunity to ask questions about death and I think that was important.

Link to book here: www.andersenpress.co.uk/catalog/book.htm?command=Search&db=andersen.txt&eqisbndata=0862649080

Good luck.

Patsy x

PatsyCline Tue 02-Oct-07 21:01:53

Sorry, cross post - I see that someone else also recommends the book.

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 21:04:11

thank you for the link

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omeN666 Tue 02-Oct-07 21:08:56

When my nan died in march we told DS that she had gone to live in the clouds and we couldnt see her anymore but she could see us. I said if he wanted to talk to her that was fine as she would be listening but she wouldnt be able to answer. He talks about her a lot and says one day he will visit her on a helicoptersad

omeN666 Tue 02-Oct-07 21:09:23

meant to say I am sorry about your brother

jozoe Tue 02-Oct-07 21:13:17

I just dont want her to say to much to my m & d at the moment i dont know if they could cope with it . But then it will perhaps help them to grieve aswell

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