Keeping kids informed helps them understand what is going on. Kids know when things aren’t quite right in the family. So, keeping important information from them can actually be more harmful than protective.
So, what do you tell your little one when Grandpa is sick? You tell them the truth, on their level, of course. Answering any questions that your child asks will help keep them from being worried and scared. But, don’t wait for them to ask. They hear the conversations from the other room, they see daddy and mommy worried and upset; and this will make them worried and upset if they don’t have answers.
Just recently, I lost my father-in-law. There were a few weeks of doctors appointments and then a few weeks of daddy having to go to the hospital every night after work. Dinner was later than usual, things that usually got done were put aside for later, our schedules were just “off” with this sudden change.
I tried to keep my kids as informed as 9 and 13 year old grandchildren should be. Some answers were simple, and some were more difficult. But, the conversations were important no matter where they led. It was important for my kids to know that they could ask questions. They would be told the truth, and they could trust that we are honest with them about the real world and real life.
So, when you are wondering if you should tell your child about important family issues, my answer is yes. Do you have to tell them every little detail? I highly recommend NOT doing that. Too much information or information that is above their developmental level is just confusing and leads to more questions.
I’m sure some of you are wondering if my children attended the funeral? Yes, they did. I think they are old enough to understand, and want them to learn proper respect and etiquette in one of life’s most difficult situations. I want them to know it is ok to cry, to smile, to reminisce, to laugh, to be joyful for a life that was loved and will be missed. I also thought it was important for my children to be there for my husband, and for us to be there as a family. Doing things together makes us all stronger. Knowing we can lean on each other is important for all of us. It turned out well, and I got lots of compliments on my children and their behavior. I’m proud of them. Lets me know their father and I are doing something right. 😉
With all of the challenges life offers, it’s important to be able to lean on others through this journey. None of us has to do it alone. Some choose to, others can’t, most fall somewhere in the middle.
I hope that you learn to weather the storms along your journey so that you can appreciate and enjoy the rainbows.
Always Enjoy the Journey! 😉