As a parent you know there will eventually be those unavoidable topics we are all dreading. Drugs, alcohol, the birds and the bees, that kind of thing. And we spend a better part of our lives preparing for those moments so that when they come we can have an easy and carefree explanation at hand. Even though I know Im going to end up blacking out looking like a deer in head lights and all that will be able to come out of my mouth is sort of an 'uuuuuuhhhhhhhh bllluuhhhhhhhh mmmmmmm yep.' and then when I come to I will feel like I have an amazing job and my children will be even more confused then they were before. In which case in my moment of total defeat I will say 'oh i don't know, google it' and walk away.
While most of these talks are years away (decades i hope) some of them creep up on us so freakin early while we are so not prepared.
Peyton has had a sort of obsession with death for a while now. When at the zoo she prefers to look at animal fossils rather than the real deal. Recently when at the museum of natural history she was totally uninterested in the animals, the insects, the dinosaurs, but there happened to be a special exhibit on human remains and she would not leave it to save my life. Asking what this bone was and that bone. Mesmerized by the mummies. She was genuinely upset when we had to go.
When we go on our walks to my moms we pass an old graveyard and every time we pass she wants to go in. Like begs.
We also live across the road from anther cemetery and they are always having funerals. She asks what they are doing and why. Also she will often ask where the zombies are.
I know it's totally normal for a three almost four year old (lets not even talk about that) to have these questions. She's curious and every day is new for her. Death is a part of life and I know she needs to learn about it but at this age just how much do you let her in on?
I have found that I haven't really censored myself thus far. When a funeral is happening I tell her someone has died and they are burying them. When we see an animal dead on the ground I don't say it's sleeping I tell her that it died. I tell her that the people who die have gone to heaven and that they won't be coming back. She asks why people die and I say sometimes they get very sick, or very hurt, or it just happens when people get very old.
I'm new at this and I don't really know what the proper limits are when explaining death to you child. I don't want to desensitize her from death, I don't want to scare her, but I also don't want to lie to her or fluff it up too much. Have you come across this topic yet? What have you found yourself saying? Do you spare the harsh reality or do you tell it how it is? How much is too much?
Basically what I'm saying is... Haaaaallppp!