She was a bit taken aback by it when her daughter suddenly asked if she and mom and dad will ever die, says Ryanne: “Merle asked that in a very anxious voice while I was just putting her to bed. I didn’t want to lie and so told honestly. that we all die once. Merle was completely upset after that and couldn’t sleep anymore. She’s been asking a lot of questions about death anyway, while – fortunately – there is no real reason to do so. How do I deal with this? “
From the age of six, there is a change in the distinction between what is real and what is fantasy among children, explains Annelies Bobeldijk of WOW! Parenting coaching explains: “Around that age the realization comes that death is definitive. You can now see that development in Ryanne’s daughter, which is very normal for this age. This child asks questions, which means that she is working on this theme.”
Bobeldijk doubts whether there was really no reason to do so: “Maybe not so much because of a death in your area, but don’t forget the impact of corona. Children also pick up a lot from this. They hear that they must keep their distance and their hands must be good. washing, because they would otherwise infect grandmother. Indirectly, it is now a lot about illness and death. In those little heads it takes on a life of its own, hence perhaps the questions about death. “
But how do you deal with this theme as a parent? Being honest is very important, advises Bobeldijk: “So don’t say that you don’t die or until you are a hundred. Be honest, but put things into perspective. Say, for example, that most people don’t die suddenly, but only when they are old and sick. Bring some air into the conversation. Say you have no intention of dying, “I can’t miss you, can I?”
Bobeldijk also advises that we should not start filling in things for our children too quickly: “We are used to answering and explaining things immediately. But does your answer match the perception of your child? Maybe you are giving too much. information – about cremation or burial – that your child cannot do yet with. So ask questions yourself: “Where do you think we will go when we die?” Maybe your child will tell you something about stars. his ideas. That way you can answer at that level and give it a light spin. “
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