Answer questions simply, honestly and in an age-appropriate way. Use correct terminology such as ‘dead’ or ‘has died’ rather than ‘gone away’.  

It’s OK to cry in front of your child. Face the reality of grief, and move on together. We don’t know everything about grief either and it’s confusing for us too.

Children need lots of reassurance and adult attention. Be prepared to answer the same questions many times and be consistent in your responses. This will help your children’s understanding.

Use age appropriate language to explain what has happened and deliver information in short segments to make it easier for your children to understand. Encourage questions. It’s OK if you don’t know all the answers. 

Be prepared to listen. Children need to know they are supported and heard and that they can talk to you at any time.

Maintain the usual routines for home and school and remind your children that it’s OK to laugh and have fun.

Funerals can help children understand death. The ritual of a funeral gives them a chance to say goodbye. If your children are attending, give a full and clear explanation in advance of what will happen and ask a trusted adult to care for them during the funeral.