For Parents and Carers

It's never easy to break the news of a death to a child and telling them someone they love has died, it can be one of the worst things a parent or carer has to do.

If a child isn't told what has happened they may be confused and frightened by the changes that are happening.

Therefore it is important that:

  • They are told as soon as possible that the person has died.
  • You use the words 'dead' and 'died'.
  • You use explanations that are simple and use words that they can understand.
  • You don't uses phrases like :- 'gone to sleep' 'gone away' as children understand these words in a way that suggests the person will 'wake-up' or 'return'

You give them the opportunity to be involved in some way.

You are honest whenever possible, even if this means saying 'I can't answer that just now'

If you need help, seek advice and support.

Remember that children do grieve and that their experience is as unique as your own, and that heir behaviour might change as they adjust to life without the deceased.

For more information about supporting grieving child use the links below

Useful links

Supporting families and educating professionals when a child dies and when a child is bereaved.

Charity providing support for road crash victims and carers, advice for road users and information exchange for professionals. Their children's book is excellent, available at www.amyandtom.org

Excellent work book for age 3-7

On this site they explain how to tell a child about the funeral.

The SwingThe Swing is the children and young people’s service

We are a team of professionals who provide individual counselling, family support and group activities to children, young people and their families.

We hope that you find the information we offer useful.

To make a referral please contact us on 01922 645035

© Walsall Bereavement Support Service 2014 All Rights Reserved.