How to Determine If Your Child is Ready to Attend a Funeral

Posted on October 9, 2017 by Bevis Funeral Home under Children, Funeral Etiquette, Funeral Services
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Processing grief while preparing to attend a funeral can be difficult for anybody, but parents have the added pressure of making the important decision about whether or not their children should accompany them to the memorial service.

There is no minimum age for a child to attend a funeral. In fact, age is not the most important factor to take into consideration. Because every child is different, the way that they cope with loss may vary, and attending a funeral could be overwhelming to some and therapeutic to others.

If you’re unsure whether your children are ready to attend a funeral, here are a few tips that will help you determine the best approach for your family.

Gauge Their Level of Understanding

The first step in making your decision should be talking with your children to get an idea of how much they can handle emotionally. Though the discussion must be tailored to your child’s maturity level, try to be as straightforward as possible about what death is and what attending a funeral will entail.

Your kids may surprise you with how much they are able to understand when they are given honest information. If you don’t know how to begin the conversation, a great place to start is asking them how they feel about the information that they already know.

If you come to the conclusion that your children aren’t emotionally ready to attend the funeral service, explaining the process may still be helpful in easing any nervousness they have surrounding the topic of death. And, they may be more prepared to attend a future memorial service.

Give Your Child Choices During the Process

As with most major decisions in their lives, your children’s feelings should be taken into account.

While one child may be comfortable with the idea of going to a funeral, another might feel uneasy and prefer to stay behind. Providing your children with options will allow them to honor their lost loved one in a way that makes sense for them, whether that includes attending the memorial service or taking part in another goodbye ceremony that may be more appropriate for them.

Consider their Relationships with the Deceased

One important factor to consider before making a decision on whether a child should attend a funeral or memorial service is their relationship to the person who is being laid to rest. That’s not to say that a child must attend the funeral of a close relative or family friend, but it may make them feel more passionate about wanting to go.

Ultimately, it’s up to you as a parent to decide the best way to include your children in a funeral service of a loved one. But, if you’re supportive of their choices, validate their feelings and engage in honest communication, you can’t go wrong.

If your family needs help creating a meaningful and memorable tribute to honor the life of a loved one, call Bevis Funeral Home & Crematory at 850-385-2193 for assistance.

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