My DS (4.6yrs) has just asked if I'll die when he's an adult. He said that if I died he'd be very lonely. Heartbreaking!!!!!
We were just having dinner and I was knocked sideways as it came out of the blue. I have 3 siblings so I guess I'm having one of those 'guilty' moments about not having another child. My DP and I are 45 and we feel like the three of us are a nice little unit. Even my DS says 'Mummy, you're mine, all mine!' so I'm assuming he doesn't want a sibling!!!
Anyway, feeling very tearful about it so thought I'd share.
You just have to explain that he won't be lonely because he will be grown up, found someone he loves, maybe have his own children etc.
Your parents dying is not very nice whether you have siblings or not.
He's mature for his age but also sensitive and we and very close. Are children this age able to grasp such concepts? The only thing he's able to understand at the moment is that I'll be dead when he's an adult. This is also upsetting for me too as I'm not great with dealing with death!
DS (just 5) is not able to get to grips with his granddad dying (last august). He says it's very sad frequently but then goes off on a tangent.
He's just learning that people die and obviously doesn't want you to die. you need to reassure him that most people die when they are very old etc and he will be ok.
Dd went through a very difficult stage when she was 3-4 over death. When she was 3.5, she asked me one day - 'what day will you die mummy?'. I told her that nobody knows the day they will die and she said: 'The day you die mummy, I will just die then.' That did make me feel very sad. Dd is now nearly 6 and I am nearly 50 - she's an only and I do worry. I told her that it will be different when she grows up - she will have her own family and friends. But I do worry a lot that I will die while she is young.
This went on for over a year and was quite distressing - she would cry about it. But some time about 5ish death stopped being quite so frightening and she became able to joke and play about it. Just today though, she and her friend made a potion that you put on your feet to make you live forever.
I think it's very normal for kids to think about death - it's a big deal and something everyone has to come to terms with in their own way.
My very close aunt died when DD was 7; I thought she'd be gutted as she's had a lot to do with her, but she just sort of said "oh" and hasn't mentioned it since. Although children talk about death a lot, I'm not sure if they can actually understand what it means in a rational way like an adult can, and I think you're worrying unneccessarily about your DS's comments, although it is upsetting for you.
You're right, Acinonyx - the pre-occupation with mortality is a phase and, after that, children do seem to become more matter-of-fact about it. DD's chief interest in my demise now is which of my bras she'll inherit.
But, more seriously, being an older mother-of-one does make me think I should fight the flab and generally try to keep myself alive as long as possible.
I don't know if the "you'll be grown up and have your own family then" line would be all that comforting, because it's asking the child to hang their hopes of not being lonely on people that they don't yet know and probably can't even imagine.
I think it might be better to refer to cousins that they are close to, or close family friends their own age.
My daughter became fixated with death when she was around 4. I was a completely single parent at the time, we have no contact with her dad, so she became frightened about losing her only parent. It was a phase- I just kept reminding her that she has her nana and grandad, my close friends who adore her, and that she would never be alone. Now she's very blasé about death and accepts it as part of life. Don't feel guilty, having a sibling wouldn't lessen the loss of a parent, children just go through periods where they understand mortality but haven't the maturity to imagine life continuing after the death of a loved one.
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